Showing posts from January, 2004

The PRSA scam

I've just been reading some of the promotional blurb for Ireland's latest answer to the pensions crisis (only about 50% of employees in Ireland have pensions, and a majority of those are public servants). I cannot help but notice just what a scam this supposed "solution" is, and how much it exposes employees to risk without doing anything at all to interfere with the employers who have failed to provide pension plans and failed to encourage employees to partake.

I've just been comparing my pension scheme (a plain ordinary defined contribution pension) with the standard PRSA and am shocked.

For example:

--there is no compulsion on employers to contribute ANYTHING to a PRSA, whereas under the approved company scheme like mine, employers are compelled to make a "meaningful" contribution (1/6 at least). Given that this is highly tax friendly, it costs employers very little to make small contributions so allowing nothing to be made at all is highly discrim…


I was searching my company directory earlier for a colleague, known for her quirky sense of humour, who had put a picture of one of her 5 pet cats onto her directory account. This, however, failed to meet the high standards of the UK employee who infamously put up a "joke cv" on the companies HR website (which is as much a networking and shameless self promotional tool) complete with a picture of himself as a gonk. Needless to say, the powers that be in Triton Square London were not amused and numerable emails were sent to employees to discourage the practice of humour in their everyday work. Thankfully, the cat survived. Here it is.

The background of the picture reminded me of one spate of house hunting in London in late 2001. We went to look at a house in Ladywell, near Lewisham, and found the house to be highly attractive, and full of 5 professional gay women. The back garden however, was a sheer Mesopotamian paradise of miniature proportions. Foundtains, delicately…

Employment Law and Employment Agencies: A Case for Legislation?

Two articles caught my eye this morning, this harrowing account in the Guardian, of a Chinese migrant worker who collapsed and died after working a 24 hour shift in a plastics plant in Teeside providing parts for Samsung, and this BBC article about the TUC's campaign on the rights of migrant workers. The problem is widespread in Ireland also, and numerous article in the papers have detailed the problem in Ireland.

One should also remember that, despite an almost total media blackout, the UK and Ireland managed to block an EU directive to force employers to grant equal rights in the workplace to non-permanent workers. This would have, for example, ended the "dirty" practice of subtracting public holidays from statutory minimum holidays (a practice widely operated by agencies) and denial of rights to long term temporary workers. Although this was widely covered in the UK media, in Ireland there was a near media blackout on the subject. Ireland continues to pretent to b…