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Bogus Self Employed with Zero Rights

  • 08-03-2021 12:02am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ postpandemic


    Posting on behalf of a friend.

    I've a friend from Brazil who has been in Ireland for about 7 months now. He let slip that he's working for a parcel company (driving a work van), and does not get sick pay, does not get a break (working up to 12 hours driving) and to top it off, he's working as a self-employed individual. He had to isolate after getting Covid a few weeks back and didn't get anything from the employer as he's self-employed and didn't have the stamps to claim the Covid payment.

    He doesn't like to make a fuss, but I think it's completely unfair that he's being treated like this. Surely he's just bogus self-employed and should have more rights? Is this practice rampant or is my friend just being taken advantage of because he's foreign?

    Appreciate any advice / links you can share?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,699 ✭✭✭ Yurt2


    It certainly isn't right. Lots of shady employers love this trick.

    Is he here on a work permit?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,594 ✭✭✭ Buddy Bubs


    Most courier companies use self employed drivers, van owners. I wont name the companies that I know for a fact that do it but you'd see their vans every day around the place.
    I have several extended family members that drive for a living and some friends too.

    They werent complaining when they were doing 250 drops a day before christmas at 2 euro a drop, but its a tough enough gig, they'd be busy and in a rush all day and on a usual day wouldnt get anything like that number of drop offs. Overall though, its a decent gig if you have a good route. The guys I know doing it would make a good living but wouldnt have sick pay or anything, they'd have to get someone to cover them for the day. My father did a small bit of cover work for a while, got paid well for it. So, swings and roundabouts. Not sure how it is bogus employment. And your friend not taking breaks, well thats up to him really isn't it. Its not good for a driver not to take breaks but I'd say plenty of them just have a sandwich on the move.

    So, I don't think its a foreign thing, its just the way they operate.




  • What’s bogus about it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,949 ✭✭✭✭ noodler


    Sick pay is not mandatory.

    My father has worked in the came company for 20 years and is simply not paid for any day he takes off as 'sick'.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,686 ✭✭✭✭ punisher5112


    He chose the job, that's how it's done, he must declare tax and pay.

    He must have correct insurance, licence, cvrt test and tax of course.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,594 ✭✭✭✭ ted1


    Amazon own this company. http://primeparcel.ie/apply-now/

    No idea how they get away it’s claiming to de self employed.

    No holiday pay, no sick pay, no pension , no employers PRSI etc

    You are better off in a minimum wage job


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,686 ✭✭✭✭ punisher5112


    ted1 wrote: »
    Amazon own this company. http://primeparcel.ie/apply-now/

    No idea how they get away it’s claiming to de self employed.

    No holiday pay, no sick pay, no pension , no employers PRSI etc

    You are better off in a minimum wage job

    But he is self employed, that's how these jobs work, it's like this in a lot of cases.
    The van owner has to take all that into account, they also must for tax purposes involve revenue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,163 ✭✭✭ pg633


    What’s bogus about it?
    https://www.revenue.ie/en/employing-people/becoming-an-employer-and-ongoing-obligations/guide-to-pay-as-you-earn-paye/determining-the-employment-status-of-an-individual.aspx
    There's a series of tests to determine if someone is an employee or not.
    Dose he provide his own van?
    Does he decide what deliveries to take, which to turn down.
    Does he decide his own route?
    Can he take work from others?

    If the answers are generally no, he is an employee, and should be protected by the various employment laws.




  • So probably not bogus at all then!


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,686 ✭✭✭✭ punisher5112


    I appreciate the point op as in the pay is sh1te but that's the way it's gone.

    It's not right at all but this is how it works.
    Similar to the delivery bikes Uber eats, deliveroo


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  • Registered Users Posts: 88 ✭✭ cfingers


    I appreciate the point op as in the pay is sh1te but that's the way it's gone.

    It's not right at all but this is how it works.
    Similar to the delivery bikes Uber eats, deliveroo

    The fundamental difference between these is that Deliveroo drivers provide their own transport. In the OP example it was a van provided by company.

    Deliveroo drivers can decide on the hours they work and which jobs to accept. I don't think the OP friend has this ability.

    Others users were saying it's not bogus employment which I would agree with however I think it is most definitely bogus SELF -Employment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,686 ✭✭✭✭ punisher5112


    cfingers wrote: »
    The fundamental difference between these is that Deliveroo drivers provide their own transport. In the OP example it was a van provided by company.

    Deliveroo drivers can decide on the hours they work and which jobs to accept. I don't think the OP friend has this ability.

    Others users were saying it's not bogus employment which I would agree with however I think it is most definitely bogus SELF -Employment.

    Now that needs to be made clear if it's an actual company van though.... Any van could be classed as a work van.


  • Registered Users Posts: 87 ✭✭ zephyro


    Appreciate any advice / links you can share?

    Sounds similar to various cases that have been taken and won OP like this one or this, which you might be interested to read more about.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,594 ✭✭✭✭ ted1


    But he is self employed, that's how these jobs work, it's like this in a lot of cases.
    The van owner has to take all that into account, they also must for tax purposes involve revenue.

    I don’t think the law would/should see these as self employed


  • Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ postpandemic


    Yurt! wrote: »
    It certainly isn't right. Lots of shady employers love this trick.

    Is he here on a work permit?

    He’s pretty private about his employment but he’s got a visa to work. I think he was desperate for work and in my opinion, his employer takes advantage of this kind of set up. But I don’t know enough to say for sure....hence the post. I just want to understand a bit more before I present the truth to my friend.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ postpandemic


    Buddy Bubs wrote: »
    Most courier companies use self employed drivers, van owners. I wont name the companies that I know for a fact that do it but you'd see their vans every day around the place.
    I have several extended family members that drive for a living and some friends too.

    They werent complaining when they were doing 250 drops a day before christmas at 2 euro a drop, but its a tough enough gig, they'd be busy and in a rush all day and on a usual day wouldnt get anything like that number of drop offs. Overall though, its a decent gig if you have a good route. The guys I know doing it would make a good living but wouldnt have sick pay or anything, they'd have to get someone to cover them for the day. My father did a small bit of cover work for a while, got paid well for it. So, swings and roundabouts. Not sure how it is bogus employment. And your friend not taking breaks, well thats up to him really isn't it. Its not good for a driver not to take breaks but I'd say plenty of them just have a sandwich on the move.

    So, I don't think its a foreign thing, its just the way they operate.


    Thanks for your input. I don’t know the first thing about it to be honest. I just want to ensure that nobody I know is being taken advantage of. I can assure you that my friend isn’t making a mint. It just upset me to hear that
    Someone I know was sick with Covid and had zero income in the meantime. I’m lucky I have a great job with an employer who does their best by me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ postpandemic


    What’s bogus about it?

    My understanding is that if you don’t work for anyone else - you’re not self employed. But I am not sure. I only work as an employee so I wanted some advice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ postpandemic


    noodler wrote: »
    Sick pay is not mandatory.

    My father has worked in the came company for 20 years and is simply not paid for any day he takes off as 'sick'.

    You see, that’s totally unfair in my opinion. Sorry your dad gave so much to a company and wasn’t looked after!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ postpandemic


    He chose the job, that's how it's done, he must declare tax and pay.

    He must have correct insurance, licence, cvrt test and tax of course.

    Sometimes, the only choice of a job isn’t a job you would choose in normal circumstances. I hear you on the compliance side of things. He is apparently paying all the relevant tax (I can only go on his word), and as such, he didn’t get paid for three weekend while sick with Covid.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ postpandemic


    ted1 wrote: »
    Amazon own this company. http://primeparcel.ie/apply-now/

    No idea how they get away it’s claiming to de self employed.

    No holiday pay, no sick pay, no pension , no employers PRSI etc

    You are better off in a minimum wage job

    I don’t know the name of the company but if this is true, it’s criminal. How can we stand by and let this happen? But maybe it’s legal...again, I don’t know enough.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,635 ✭✭✭ The Continental Op


    Some Irish case law here https://www.mondaq.com/ireland/employee-rights-labour-relations/901724/beware-bogus-self-employment

    The way I read that the OP's mate is an employee and not self employed.

    Wake me up when it's all over.



  • Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ postpandemic


    That’s the thing. He doesn’t own the van, he doesn’t choose the route, he doesn’t choose his hours. So he’s very much the underdog. Meanwhile, my friend works himself to the bone for not enough (in my opinion)
    But he is self employed, that's how these jobs work, it's like this in a lot of cases.
    The van owner has to take all that into account, they also must for tax purposes involve revenue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ postpandemic


    pg633 wrote: »
    https://www.revenue.ie/en/employing-people/becoming-an-employer-and-ongoing-obligations/guide-to-pay-as-you-earn-paye/determining-the-employment-status-of-an-individual.aspx
    There's a series of tests to determine if someone is an employee or not.
    Dose he provide his own van?
    Does he decide what deliveries to take, which to turn down.
    Does he decide his own route?
    Can he take work from others?

    If the answers are generally no, he is an employee, and should be protected by the various employment laws.


    So he doesn’t own the van. Doesn’t choose his hours. For best decide his route or his days. His boss is very much in charge. He doesn’t see this as an issue but I do and wanted to check in to see if it’s just me being a little warrior for the underdog or maybe the facts are incorrect.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ postpandemic


    cfingers wrote: »
    The fundamental difference between these is that Deliveroo drivers provide their own transport. In the OP example it was a van provided by company.

    Deliveroo drivers can decide on the hours they work and which jobs to accept. I don't think the OP friend has this ability.

    Others users were saying it's not bogus employment which I would agree with however I think it is most definitely bogus SELF -Employment.


    Yes. He’s not a Deliveroo driver with his own transport. There’s a van with a tracker. There’s a weekly schedule decided by a manager and while I don’t know his hourly rate, I just can’t see it being fair.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ postpandemic


    zephyro wrote: »
    Sounds similar to various cases that have been taken and won OP like this one or this, which you might be interested to read more about.

    Appreciate you sharing links. I wonder how many others are in this situation. I know I’m lucky to be Irish, living at home but never really knew how bad things were for foreign workers until recently. My ignorance isn’t justicifed but I hope to make up for it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,857 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble


    Appreciate you sharing links. I wonder how many others are in this situation. I know I’m lucky to be Irish, living at home but never really knew how bad things were for foreign workers until recently. My ignorance isn’t justicifed but I hope to make up for it.

    Be very careful.

    Many of the foreign workers don't want some social-justice-warrior stomping in and kicking up about their rights, and so getting them fired.

    If your friends wants to report things, he can go to the Workplace Relations Commission. Or he can report the company to Revenue.

    If he's from Brazil, he's likely on a student visa (Ireland's version of a J1). Only supposed to be working 20 hours /week, with the rest of the time studying. I understand that if he's found to be working for more hours than that, he can have the visa cancelled (may be incorrect re process for this, my knowledge is sparse).

    Irish people have a tendency to try and solve other people's problems - whether or not those people want their problems solved for them. You will be far more helpful if you support your friend to make his own decisions about what fights he want to have.


    fyi, in general self-employed people can claim PUP. And outside the government and large multi-nationals, sick pay is pretty rare.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ postpandemic


    Be very careful.

    Many of the foreign workers don't want some social-justice-warrior stomping in and kicking up about their rights, and so getting them fired.

    If your friends wants to report things, he can go to the Workplace Relations Commission. Or he can report the company to Revenue.

    If he's from Brazil, he's likely on a student visa (Ireland's version of a J1). Only supposed to be working 20 hours /week, with the rest of the time studying. I understand that if he's found to be working for more hours than that, he can have the visa cancelled (may be incorrect re process for this, my knowledge is sparse).

    Irish people have a tendency to try and solve other people's problems - whether or not those people want their problems solved for them. You will be far more helpful if you support your friend to make his own decisions about what fights he want to have.


    fyi, in general self-employed people can claim PUP. And outside the government and large multi-nationals, sick pay is pretty rare.


    I’m definitely not some social-justice-warrior....but totally accept your point and appreciate it. I lived abroad previously and got screwed over and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. So yeah, no warrior - just a concerned friend. I just shared the links and will let him make up his own mind. Guessing the “Irish Mammy” instinct kicked in is all. After living abroad myself for a number of years, I know what it’s like to have to look after yourself and always welcomed support.

    Thanks for the feedback though!


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