Last week Social Welfare Inspectors from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection conducted approximately 1,000 inspections of employers in Dublin city. These inspections were undertaken across the city and in a variety of sectors. They 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.
These visits to employers have proved very worthwhile and have increased awareness of possible abuses of the PRSI system. The visits follow the Department’s recent information campaign highlighting the issue of false self-employment.
Remarking on the large number of inspector visits the Minister Regina Doherty, T.D., stated: ‘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.
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.