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Bogus self-employment arises when workers are effectively doing work directly for an employer, but are forced to accept a designation as self-employed in order to get work.
The move benefits employers in a number of ways, including reducing their liability for PRSI, and their exposure to employment law rights and entitlements that apply to direct employees.
Workers classified as self-employed have fewer entitlements to job security, annual leave, holiday and redundancy pay - and can also lose out on social welfare benefits if they find themselves unemployed.
Labour's Employment Affairs and Social Protection spokesperson Senator Ged Nash described the practice of bogus self-employment as insidious and increasingly widespread, with the rise of agency, temporary and "gig economy" work.
He said that while construction was the most high profile sector, the phenomenon could also be found in media organisations, education, aviation, financial services and information technology.
He noted that many workers were being forced into self-employment, because if they refuse to accept that classification, they simply do not get work.
His Protection of Employment (Measures to Counter False Self Employment) Bill will provide a definition of bogus self-employment aimed at protecting the maximum number of workers from misclassification.
It will also make employers who fail to pay the proper PRSI payments subject to the penalties applicable to tax defaulters.
Disputes over employment classification would be heard by the Workplace Relations Commission, rather than the Department of Social Protection as at present.
General Secretary of the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union Paddy Kavanagh said the tax and PRSI revenue foregone due to bogus self-employment - estimated to exceed €80 million a year - would go a long way towards addressing the trolley and homelessness crises.
ICTU General Secretary Patricia King criticised the Revenue Commissioners for failing to carry out adequate checks on the classification of workers, which in many cases is submitted by the employer to the Revenue.
General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists Seamus Dooley described RTÉ as a "national disgrace" for some of its contractual arrangements, but said it would be wrong to let other media organisations who refuse to allow unions to represent people off the hook.
At the launch of the bill in Dun Laoghaire, speakers also noted that allowing rogue employers to engage in bogus self-employment was penalising good employers, who could not compete with them.
They also called for the immediate publication of a report on bogus self-employment, which is currently with the Department of Social Protection.