Employed or Self Employed

Factors pointing toward employee status

Common terms that point to you being an employee are:

  • Under the control of Site Foreman who directs how, when and where the work is to be carried out.
  • Does not supply materials for the job.
  • Does not engage his/her own helpers.
  • Does not sub-contract the work.
  • Is not exposed to financial risk in carrying out the work.
  • Receives an agreed weekly/monthly wage.

It should also be noted that a worker paid by results is not automatically a self-employed contractor.

Facts pointing to Self-Employment status are:

  • Is in business in his/her own account and provides the same service concurrently to others.
  • Has a fixed place of business.
  • Provides materials for the job.
  • Provides his/her own plant and equipment.
  • Provides their own insurance.

Determining Employment Status

The law is concerned with facts and will not be deceived by any mechanism your employer might use to hide your true employment status such as, selling you materials or placing you on C45.

Thousands of so-called self-employed building workers should be categorised as employees and would therefore be entitled to full employment rights such as:

  • Protection from Unfair Dismissal.
  • The Right to Notice and Redundancy Pay.
  • Sick Pay.
  • Holiday Pay.
  • Pension Scheme.


Things to be aware of

  1. You might also want to be aware, that as a worker employed on a RCTDC/C45 basis by a sub-contractor, you will be unable to contribute to the Construction Workers Pension Scheme (CWPS). If so, your employer could be deemed as a non compliant sub-contractor under the terms of the Registered Employment Agreement.

  2. If you decide to work on a RCTDC/C45 basis, and you engage people to work for you and do not register your workers in the Construction Workers Pension Scheme or a pension scheme equivalent to CWPS, you will be liable for the amount in full which includes the workers contribution. Part of the pension scheme benefits includes a death in service benefit. Failing to register your workers in the scheme could result in you being personally liable for this death in service benefit which is in excess of €60,000.00. A worker in the construction industry is entitled to the death in service benefit.

The Scope Section of the Department of Social Protection can be called to determine whether or not you are a self-employed worker or a employee.

If you believe you are an employee or that you are being denied any employment rights by your employer, contact our head office on 01 7994519.