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Written Answers. - Share Fishermen.

Wednesday, 8 May 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 465 No. 1

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 184. Miss Coughlan Information on Mary Coughlan Zoom on Mary Coughlan  asked the Minister for Enterprise and Employment Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton  whether share fishermen are deemed as partners; and whether they are entitled to attend the Rights Commission and Labour Court in respect of industrial disputes. [9139/96]

Minister for Enterprise and Employment (Mr. R. Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Partnership Act, 1890, and the Limited Partnerships Act, 1907, set out the legislative provisions regarding the law of partnership in Ireland. Section 1 (1) of the Partnership Act, 1890, provides that “a partnership is the relation which subsists between persons carrying on a business in common with a view to profit”. Section 2 (2) of that Act declares that the sharing of gross returns does not of itself create a partnership but section 2 (3) provides that “the receipt by a person of a share of the profits of a business is prima facie evidence that he is a partner in the business”.

In determining whether or not workers such as share-fishermen would have right of access to a rights commissioner or the Labour Court in terms of a dispute with the owner of a boat, the key issue hinges on the nature of the employment contract of the share-fishermen. If the contract is a “contract of service”, then the fishermen would be an employee of the boat owner. On the other hand, if the contract is a “contract for service”, the fisherman would not be an employee and thus would not have access to a rights commissioner or the Labour Court.

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