Plight of PayPal’s Northern Ireland workers highlighted as Louth site set to close

Paypal is to close its Dundalk office at the end of the week, with staff set to work from home.

Margaret RoddyThe Argus

The plight facing over 120 PayPal workers living in the North when the Dundalk site closes at the end of the week was raised in the Dail by Louth TD Ruairí Ó Murchú.

The American multinational announced earlier this month that the company site at the Xerox Technology Park is to close with employees exclusively working from home from the start of April.

However, because of problems with the tax regime between North and South, the Northern workers have been advised that they will have to go onto ‘PayPal UK’ contracts, different from their colleagues who live in the South.

The Sinn Féin TD  raised the issue during Taoiseach’s questions last week, saying  “not only have there been job losses but more than 120 people who are from the North will not be able to continue to work for PayPal in the South.

He explained that the workers will b paid under so-called PayPal UK and  are facing particular issues relating to social protection, insurance and taxation.

“This issue needs to be dealt with between the Revenue Commissioners and HM Revenue and Customs but beyond that, a bilateral agreement may be required. We are now in a better place as regards the relationship with Britain and the Government must put its shoulder to the wheel and deliver on this’.

Mr Varadkar  replied that he didn’t have an answer for Deputy  Ó Murchú as he was not familiar with the changes, but undertook to look into it if he got  onto to him directly.

In his letter to An Taoiseach, Deputy Ó Murchú said: ‘It is my understanding that these workers have been advised by the company that because of the issues around Northern employees working from home and the tax restrictions around this, that they will be offered contracts with ‘PayPal UK’ company.

‘If they do not wish to make the transfer to this part of the company, they will be deemed to have resigned. As of this evening, the affected employees have not seen the contract, ten days out from the site closure.

‘It has been brought to my attention that the employees, many of whom have worked for PayPal Europe in Dundalk for many years, are concerned about how the move will affect their paid for PRSI entitlements such as JSB, future contributory pensions, redundancy etc. They will of course no longer get the Child benefit top up as a Southern worker when they move to the new company.

‘There are also problems with how the contract will be paid – how the euro pay will be calculated in sterling etc’.

Deputy Ó Murchú urged Mr Varadkar: ‘It is my belief that government is now, following the Windsor Framework and the conclusion of talks between Britain and the EU, in a better place than before with regard to being able to engage with the relevant authorities in Britain in order to bring imagination and creativity to bear on solving this issue for the many hundreds, if not thousands of people, affected by the current tax situation with remote working’.