Press Release

Construction activists protest at National Children’s Hospital site tomorrow

Date Released: 27 June 2019

SIPTU activists will be joining with members in other construction industry unions to protest outside the site of the new National Children’s Hospital in Dublin tomorrow morning (Friday, 28th June) from 6.30 a.m to highlight bogus self-employment in the construction sector.

ICTU Construction Industry Committee Chair, Billy Wall, said: “Bogus self-employment cheats us all. Rogue bosses are deliberately misclassifying workers as self-employed subcontractors so as to dodge their social insurance and pension contributions, established pay rates, employment law and responsibilities.”
 
SIPTU Construction Sector Organiser, John Regan, said: “ Research shows that the State is losing out on up to €300 million in tax and PRSI as a result of bogus self-employment arrangements where a worker is forced by an employer to declare themselves self-employed rather than an employee. It also results in workers being denied key rights and safeguards.”
 
BATU General Secretary, Brendan O'Sullivan, said: “There are big financial gains for employers fraudulently misclassifying workers. This is not a victimless crime. The costs are paid by these workers, good employers, the state and society.”
 
Connect National Construction Official, Thomas Faulkner: “Workers forced into bogus self-employment are denied the rights and protection directly employed workers are entitled to under employment law and collective agreements.”
 
Unite Regional Official, Tom Fitzgerald said: “Action is needed to combat bogus self-employment. Workers should only be allowed to register as self-employed if they satisfy agreed criteria.”
 
He added: “The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and the Labour Court should replace the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) in reviewing reported misclassifications. Legislation is also required to clearly define the term worker/ employee.”


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