Publicity Campaign Alone Will Not End Scourge of Bogus Self Employment

10 May 2018

Precarious Work

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions said today (May 10) that a new publicity and awareness campaign on Bogus Self-Employment would not be sufficient on its own to tackle the problem and said new measures from government and the Revenue Commissioners are also required. 

This follows the launch of a government-backed publicity and awareness campaign highlighting the problem of Bogus Self-Employment across the economy. 

Congress General Secretary Patricia King said the launch of the official campaign was timely and "a reconition that we have a serious and wide scale problem, which Congress has been highlighting for some years, with a large number of workers forced into Bogus Self-Employment.

"However, we are strongly of the view that a publicity campaign alone will not resolve the problem. If Government is serious about addressing this issue it should immediately;

  • Bring forward legislation that provides for a robust definition in law of what constitutes an employee; an
  • Instruct the Revenue Commissioners to adopt a more rigorous approach to applications to have people designated as self-employed.

"These measures - combined with the awareness campaign - could go a long way to ending the scourge of Bogus Self-Employment," Ms King said. 

Congress also encouraged workers affected by Bogus Self Employment to report this to the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection. 

In December 2015 a Congress study revealed that taxpayers had lost up to €600 million as a result of Bogus Self Employment in the construction sector alone, with standards of employment also suffering.*

Subsequent reports have highlighted incidences of the practice in other sectors of the economy, including the care sector, health, education and the media.