Dáil Éireann - Volume 651 - 08 April, 2008

Written Answers. - Registered Employers.

Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance, further to Parliamentary Question No. 617 of 30 January 2008, the number of people registered as employers with the Revenue Commissioners in the construction industry as defined under the Registered Employment Agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13001/08]

  Deputy Brian Cowen: I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that they are not able to give precise figures for “the number of people registered as employers with the Revenue Commissioners in the construction industry as defined under the Registered Employment Agreement”.

The Revenue Commissioners use NACE (European Economic Activity) codes to classify taxpayers. This is the same system as used by the Central Statistics Office. These NACE codes do not correspond with the definition of building firms or civil engineering firms contained in Schedule 2 of the Registered Employment Agreement (REA) for the Construction Industry. [393] Furthermore, some employers may be registered with Revenue as an employer in respect of more than one business.

In addition, the REA applies to a “worker” in the construction industry, a term which has a broader definition than “employee” has for the purposes of the Income Tax (Employments)(Consolidated) Regulations 2001. Case law on the definition of “worker” in the Industrial Relations Act 1990 (which gives legal basis to the REA) suggests that the definition is wide enough to include individual subcontractors as a “worker”. These subcontractors are ‘self employed’ for the purposes of the Taxes Consolidation Act and persons solely engaging these individuals would not have to register with Revenue as employers.

The number of employers on the Revenue Commissioners records with NACE codes that roughly correspond to the definition of building firms or civil engineering firms in the REA is 38,665.