Updated: 08/05/18 : 07:18:34
Employment Affairs and Social Protection Minister,
Regina Doherty, T.D., has announced that a public awareness campaign
about false self-employment in Ireland is now underway.
The public awareness campaign follows on from recommendations in the
‘Report on Intermediary Structures and Self-Employment Arrangements’, which was published in January this year. The report found there is no evidence that there has been any significant change in the level of self-employment in the economy.
However, concerns have been raised that false self-employment
exists across a number of industry sectors in Ireland. False
self-employment is an employment relationship which creates the
appearance that a person is self-employed, when, in reality, they
are a direct employee of a business or corporate structure.
This campaign is aimed at ensuring that there is
better public awareness of the important service the Department provides
in determining employment status. The campaign response should help the
Department in better understanding the scale
and nature of false self-employment.
Minister Doherty said the campaign timing is opportune:
“As the economy continues to grow steadily
and the labour market continues to improve, it is timely that what
defines a person’s employment status is made clear. It is also
important that people are aware of the role of my Department
in determining a person’s employment status.
While the Government recognises that the vast
majority of self-employment is legitimate, genuine, and an important
contributor to the Irish economy, cases of false self-employment can and
do arise, leaving both the worker and the
Irish exchequer worse off. False self-employment impacts on an
employee’s entitlements to social welfare benefits such as jobseekers
and illness benefits, and employment rights including entitlement to
statutory minimum pay rates, leave entitlements, and protection
against unfair dismissal. False self-employment reduces PRSI
contributions and thereby reduces the Social Insurance Fund and also has
the potential to reduce tax revenues for the exchequer.
Responsible businesses that employ their
staff legitimately can face a competitive disadvantage where this
practice exists. Reducing false self-employment will benefit workers,
businesses and the exchequer.
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.”
The public awareness campaign will run over the
coming weeks with national, regional and online, media advertisements
including radio, print, bus shelters, Dart and Luas services and adverts
in major railway stations. To reflect the international
and multicultural nature of the Irish workforce, the online and social
media elements of the campaign will be provided in eight languages;
French, Hindi, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian and
The campaign response will help the Department to
develop its understanding of the scale and nature of false
self-employment and may potentially identify sectors for inspection by
the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection,
Revenue and the Workplace Relations Commission.
Detailed information on false self-employment and the Department’s employment status service is provided here:
Notes for Editor
The advertising campaign will cost €167,500 incl
VAT (which includes all advertising, creative development and
- Link to the Report on Intermediary Structures and Self-Employment arrangements:
- In 2017 the Department made 877 determinations related to employment status.
- People wishing to make
enquiries about their employment status can contact the Department of
Employment Affairs & Social Protection at 01 6732585 (9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday)