Cllr Alison Gilliland

Self-employed workers must be afforded equal welfare entitlements

Issued : Friday 27 February, 2015

A Labour Party Dublin City Council member is calling for equal welfare entitlements for all self-employed workers at this weekend’s party conference.

Cllr. Alison Gilliland  is proposing a motion giving effect to the recommendations of the Third Report of the Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare: Extending Social Insurance Coverage for the Self –Employed (May 2013).

 ‘We have seen too many self-employed people left unsupported once their business activity dries up or when they have an accident or suffer an illness that leaves them unable to work. This situation is unfair’.

‘I wholehearted commend Labour’s success in government in retaining core welfare entitlements and creating not progressive pathways to and opportunities for employment, our work for workers is incomplete. However, we must also act to afford workers who are self-employed protections and entitlements similar to those of their employed counterparts’

‘In particular, the means testing criteria and process for self-employed workers to qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance needs to be simplified and aligned with the criteria of their employed counterparts. Entitlements to long-term illness, incapacity and invalidity benefits need to be extended to include self-employed persons.

‘Changes also need to be made to the welfare system to allow those previously self-employed workers  or those under employed to access labour activation supports and training, particularly in cases where they do not qualify for  Jobseeker’s Allowance’.

‘Inherent in extending these entitlements is the need to change our PRSI system and the contributions made by self-employed workers to it’.

‘In an environment where entrepreneurism and self-starting is encouraged and viewed as a key strategy in employment creation it is essential that such workers are given assurances and protection when things go wrong for them. Self-employed workers are job creators of the future and deserve full welfare protection’.

‘In tandem with these changes to a fairer, more inclusive working environment, is the need to ensure full compliance with the Code of Practice for Determining Employment or Self-Employed Status of Individuals. This is particularly necessary in sectors with high levels of flexible, precarious or casual workers or where intents are being made to circumvent labour legislation’.

‘All these changes are based on the evidence and the recommendations presented in the Third Report of the Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare: Extending Social Insurance Coverage for the Self –Employed (May 2013). I am therefore asking that Labour move to implement the recommendations of this report in Budget 2016 and that for  a commitment to their full implementation in our Election Manifesto for the next General Election’

 

 

Original text of motion is now composited with a similar motion from Kilbeggan Branch/Longford Westmeath as Motion 3 on the Labour Party Agenda scheduled for debate on Friday evening.

Original Text: Welfare Entitlements for Self-Employed Persons

Conference acknowledges that Labour’s success in government in retaining core welfare entitlements and creating not only progressive pathways to and opportunities for employment but also an environment that better protects and supports our workers. Conference, however, notes that despite making pay related social insurance contributions self-employed persons do not qualify for the same welfare entitlements as their employed counterparts. Therefore Conference calls for the full equalisation of welfare entitlements for self-employed persons in Budget 2016 and in the Labour Election Manifesto.

 

Motion 3. Composite No. 1:

  • Conference acknowledges Labour’s success in government in retaining core welfare entitlements and creating not only progressive pathways to and opportunities for employment but also an environment that better protects and supports our workers.
  •  Conferenced notes, however, that despite making pay related social insurance contributions self-employed persons do not qualify for the same welfare entitlements as their employed counterparts.
  • Conference therefore calls for the full equalisation of welfare entitlements for self-employed persons in Budget 2016 and in the Labour Election Manifesto.
  • Conference calls for a complete overhaul of the social welfare system in relation to self-employed persons.
  • Conference notes the unfair nature of the means test system for former self-employed persons and the substantial delays occurring prior to any payment being made.
  •  Conference call for the abolition of the means test in its current form and replacing it with a fairer and equitable model based upon ability to pay.

 

Dublin Bay North Constituency Kilbeggan Branch, Longford/Westmeath

 

Cllr Alison Gilliland


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Ireland - Dublin : Dublin Bay North : Artane-Whitehall
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