Danger of ‘non-compliance’ during inspection checks on construction sites in South Dublin

South Dublin County Councilors voted in favor of employment inspections at construction sites operating on behalf of the council.

At Monday’s plenary council meeting, Cllr William Joseph Carey proposed that the SDCC, in collaboration with the Federation of Trade Unions, put in place a system of compliance inspections to ensure respect for workers’ rights in matters of ‘use.

In response, a spokesperson for SDCC replied that it cannot carry out such inspections and that it would be the responsibility of the Workplace Relations Commission, the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare and the commissioners. to income.

The council said: “By providing information on public works contracts, the terms of public works contracts oblige the contractor to ensure compliance with the relevant aspects of the law governing payments to (and on behalf of) employees for all people employed on the site, this is not limited to their own employees but to all subcontractors who provide labor on the site.

“Contracting authorities are required to ensure that the ‘rate of pay and conditions of employment certificate’ is received with each request for payment and, in the event of non-compliance, to withhold payment until the matter be rectified.

“Record-keeping requirements in contracts are intended to help enforcement agencies collect evidence in the event of non-compliance. When non-compliance issues are discovered, contracting authorities should always report these issues to the body charged with the authority to prosecute under the relevant legislation and to seek and retrieve the appropriate evidence necessary to initiate proceedings. prosecution.

The motion was amended, asking that: “The General Manager should seek agreement with the Federation of Trade Unions (BATU) for a system of employment compliance inspections on all construction sites where the SDCC has sub- treated work to construction contractors.

“The one whose goal is to tackle the problem of the false self-employed status on the sites contracted by the SDCC.

The amended motion was finally passed and the advisers will now write to the Workplace Relations Commission, the Ministry of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and the Revenue Commissioners.

Speaking after the board meeting, Cllr Carey said: “This is an important step for advisers to ensure that employers operating on board sites meet their legal obligations.

“As the pressure to speed up construction delivery intensifies, there is a danger that we will slip back into the old Celtic Tiger-era habits of non-compliance in the construction zone.”

Cllr Carey added that it is incumbent on public bodies to lead by example and ensure that employers’ legal obligations to workers are met.

He said: “Every other industry in Ireland is forced to make retirement deductions and plan for the future. The fictitious contracting system in the construction industry has driven thousands of former workers out of the construction industry without pension.

“In the current system of local government procurement, contractors are expected to be compliant. However, there is no monitoring or verification system and is considered a checkout exercise.

Cllr Carey added: “It is hoped that by introducing a method of on-site inspections the industry will improve its record of compliance with labor laws.

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