Worker rights push by minister

A public awareness campaign on false self-employment will be launched today.

The response to the campaign over the coming weeks will be used to indicate the scale of false self-employment and where it happens.

A report published earlier this year found no evidence of any significant change in the level of self-employment. However, there is concern that false self-employment exists across a number of industry sectors in Ireland.

Launching the campaign, Employment Affairs and Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty said false self-employment affected an employee’s entitlements to social welfare benefits, pay, and annual leave. It also reduced employer pay-related social insurance contributions.

Working with the Workplace Relations Commission and Revenue, my department will ensure that we tackle the issue of false self-employment in a joined-up way, said Ms Doherty.

The terms ‘employed’ and ‘self-employed’ are not defined in law. However, guidance has been provided by the courts.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection looks at the work and working relationship between the person and the company he or she works for or with.

It is the reality of the working relationship that matters.

Last year, the department made 877 determinations related to employment status.

The department’s Scope Section makes a determination on a case based on an inspector’s report and a code of practice, a process that usually takes a number of weeks.

Anyone wanting to know their employment status can call the Department of Employment and Social Protection on 01-6732585 from 9am to 5pm weekdays.

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