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Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017

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Bills\Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017\Second Stage

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Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017

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Snippet Contents:

He complained to the employer. That is the problem. Unless there will be a very proactive move by the authorities, with inspections and raids happening on a much greater level, all the legislation in the world will make no difference. A person is legally entitled to a payslip but workers are not getting them. Such practice is rampant in the construction industry. There is also the problem of agencies, as it means there is a buffer for the main contractor, which might be responsible for big sites. This legislation does not deal with agencies abusing people at will with respect to hours of employment. If anybody kicks up about such issues, he or she is gone and will not get work again for months. What will we do about this?
The final demand of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, ICTU, is not included in the legislation. I have raised it, along with many others here, time and again. It is bogus self-employment, which is rampant in construction and other areas. There are serious allegations about this happening in the film industry and we have been getting reports similar to what we have received week in, week out, month in, month out, year in and year out from construction workers for the past decade. If workers walk on to a site and ask for PAYE employment, they can forget it as they will be shown the door. They either agree to being classified as subcontractors or they can forget it. The employer does not want to have any responsibility or give sick or holiday pay, or the various entitlements a person might have in direct employment.
It is very obviously the case that these workers are not entrepreneurs. The numbers of supposed entrepreneurs in construction are ridiculous, with the latest figures at approximately 60,000 from the total construction work force of approximately 130,000. Nearly half of construction workers in this country seem to be entrepreneurs, including the labourers. It is an absolute joke. To be classified as self-employed and an entrepreneur, a series of conditions must be met but they do not apply to these workers. Nobody is independently assessing this and instead the employer can go online and classify people as self-employed. That is the way it works. The onus is put on the worker again in this respect. When I mention the problem in this House I am told a worker can get on to the Revenue Commissioners and complain but if they do this, they will get sacked or blacklisted and never get on a site again. That is what happens. We now see allegations of similar carry-on in the film industry. None of it is dealt with in the legislation.