Fabian Demicoli

GRTU Director General on Abuse of Status of Self-Employed


The EESC Plenary on 21st March 2013 approved an Opinion
on the ‘Abuse of the status of self-employed'. Vince Farrugia as Malta
Employer's representative made a long list of amendments ensuring that the
Opinion reflects the objection of genuine self-employed against the abuse of
their status by two different groups:

1. The employers who continue to recruit workers
in precarious conditions to offer cut-price services against competitors who
abide by labour laws and respect the ILO resolution of the 15th June 2006 which
advises Governments to take action to suppress this abuse of the status of
self-employment.

2. Free riders who under the guise of
self-employed act in direct competition with genuine self-employed without
abiding to tax, standards and other licensing and wages regulations. These free
riders succeeding in eating away substantial ratio of markets at the expense of
the genuine self-employed who abide by all applicable laws.

Among the proposals adopted by the EESC in its important
Opinion is the amendment of Vincent Farrugia that states that when considering
the employment status of a person who is nominally self-employed and is prima
facie not considered as an employee, it can be presumed that there is an
employment relationship and that the person for whom the service is provided is
the employer if at least five of the following criteria are satisfied in
relation to the person performing the work:

(a) s/he depends on one single person for whom the
service is provided for at least 75% of his income over a period of one year;

s/he depends on
the person for whom the service is provided to determine what work is to be
done and where and how the assigned work is to be carried out;

(c) s/he performs the work using equipment, tools or
materials provided by the person for whom the service is provided;

(d) s/he is subject to a working time schedule or minimum
work periods established   by the person
for whom the service is provided;

(e)  s/he cannot sub-contract his work to other
individuals to substitute himself when carrying out work;

(f)  s/he is integrated in the structure of the
production process, the work organisation or the company's or other
organization's hierarchy;

(g) the person's activity is a core element in the
organization and pursuit of the objectives of the person for whom the service
is provided, and

(h)     s/he carries
out similar tasks to existing employees, or, in the case when work is
outsourced, he performs tasks similar to those formerly undertaken by
employees.

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