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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 19 February, 2019
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Over 1,000 inspections carried out by Welfare to detect 'bogus self employment'

More inspections are to be carried out in the near future.

SOCIAL WELFARE INSPECTORS last week conducted around 1,000 inspections of employers in Dublin city to make sure they were complying with employment law.

Welfare said these inspections were undertaken across the city and in a variety of sectors and are part of ongoing measures being undertaken by the department to detect instances of false self-employment and other possible abuses of the PRSI system.

Bogus self-employment is where the worker takes on the responsibility of paying their own taxes and being in charge of their tools or supplies but without the safety of being paid while out ill.

They also don’t enjoy the same benefits that self-employed would usually have. They would also have little to no control over when they work.

The inspections to employers proved worthwhile, according to the department, and have increased awareness of possible abuses of the PRSI system.

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty said: “Given the reduction in the Live Register and changes to work practices, our inspectors are increasingly being deployed to conduct employer inspections – checking that social insurance records are being correctly maintained, that workers are being properly classified as employees and that time at work is being reported correctly.

It is important to note that employers who falsify records or deliberately misclassify a worker can be charged arrears of social insurance contributions and can be prosecuted. We will follow up with prosecutions as appropriate.

The Department is increasing the number of Social Welfare Inspector visits on PRSI related activity over the course of 2018 and will continue this approach into 2019 in order to protect workers’ rights.

The department said that if a person is falsely self-employed it can affect their PRSI contribution record and their social welfare entitlements. It may also impact on their entitlements under employment rights legislation including, for example, entitlement to statutory minimum pay rates, receiving a payslip, rest breaks, public holiday and annual leave entitlements and protection against unfair dismissal.

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