Foreign workers at risk as PRSI left unpaid
HUNDREDS of employers are not paying the Payment Related Social Insurance (PRSI) tax each year, with large numbers of foreign workers not being made aware of the tax by their employers.
New figures, obtained by the Sunday Independent, show that more than 5,600 investigations were carried out by the department, arising from complaints made against employers in the last five years with 755 being found not to be paying PRSI.
Jan Kaminski, founder of the Irish Polish society, claims that large portions of Polish and foreign workers are not being informed of their employment rights or the PRSI tax by their employers who are allegedly dismissing them without any notice.
In many cases the employees don't know what PRSI is and their employers don't pay it, so when things go bad and they are let go with no notice, they have no protection, he said.
Employees whose employers do not pay their PRSI are not entitled to job seekers' allowance or social welfare and have no employment rights. They may also face the prospect of a reduced pension.
Fine Gael spokesperson on social protection Michael Ring insisted that rogue employers should be accountable.
"At the end of the day people should check that their contributions are being paid. However, saying that, there is a responsibility on the department to ensure that those employers who are not compliant in paying their workers contributions, and leaving workers vulnerable should be held accountable," he said.
Currently there are 30,800 immigrants working in Ireland.