Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Questions (93)

Brian Stanley


93. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to the fact that bogus self-employment practices have been in use in RTÉ and that a settlement has been made by RTÉ to the Revenue Commissioners; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25946/21]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The term 'bogus self-employment' is a provocative one that implies falsehood and a deliberate attempt to commit fraud. However, it is clear that the misclassification of employees for PRSI purposes often occurs through a lack of knowledge or error or due to changes that occur over time in the relationship between an employer and its contractors. It is not always contrived. My Department has been closely engaged with RTÉ since the broadcaster commenced a review of its contractors’ contracts in 2018 to ensure that the correct class of PRSI is being paid for the workers involved. My concern and my Department’s concern is that the appropriate, statutory PRSI contributions are being returned for all workers in the State and from an appropriate date. We initially adopted a monitoring role while the lengthy review was taking place. Thereafter, Social Welfare Inspectors from my Employment Status Investigation Unit commenced an investigation of the employment status of RTÉ’S contractors in September 2020. This has progressed with the full co-operation of RTÉ and the former or current contractors. The investigation is ongoing. I understand that the Revenue Commissioners carried out their own review of RTE's affairs from the perspective of tax compliance. Their detailed findings were not shared with my Department and are a matter for the Revenue Commissioners themselves. There is nothing in any tax related settlement agreed with Revenue that would prevent my inspectors from carrying out their work. Any PRSI contribution corrections that might ultimately result from our employment status investigations will be applied in the normal way.I trust this clarifies matters for the Deputy.