Calls for Government to raid building sites for benefit cheats

The
leader of Britain’s building workers’ union UCATT today called on the
Government to raid a number of high-profile building sites in the UK to catch
dole cheats, the bogus self-employed and the sub-contracting companies that
enable these practices to take place.

George
Brumwell’s call follows a Benefits Agency blitz last month on the Scottish
Parliament building site, which discovered that one in eight workers was a
benefit cheat – drawing the dole while working.

It
also follows the publication of a report prepared for UCATT by the Institute of
Employment Rights which has found that bogus self employment is now so
widespread in the construction industry that the Inland Revenue is losing up to
£2bn a year.

"It’s
time to clean up the construction industry," said Brumwell.
"Particularly those subcontractors who exploit workers by forcing or
encouraging them to go on the dole so they can pay them a lower wage or to
pretend to be self employed even though they work for the same subcontractor

year
in, year out," he added.

Brumwell
said that by forcing workers to take dole money, subcontractors are in effect
getting subsidies from the state and are able to pay their workers less cash
every week.

He
said by forcing workers to be ‘self-employed’, unscrupulous subcontractors
escape paying employers’ national insurance, sick pay, holiday pay and
pensions.

"Hard
working construction workers who pay all their dues and the rest of the working
population are being cheated of millions of pounds in benefit and up to £2bn a
year because of bogus self-employment."

By Ben Willmott

Comments are closed.