Hiring false self-employed workers has become a common practice in some labor sectors, especially in the field of digital platforms and the collaborative economy.
However, this illegal practice can have serious consequences for employers and the workers who are affected. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about the new crime of hiring false freelancers and the penalties it entails.
Before getting into the subject, it is essential to define what constitutes false self-employed workers.
These are workers who, although they apparently have the status of self-employed, in reality, maintain a subordinate employment relationship with the company that hires them. In other words, they perform their work under the guidelines and supervision of the employer, who has effective control of their activity.
The hiring of so-called false self-employed workers is prohibited by law and is considered a form of labor fraud.
Specifically, Article 1 of the Workers’ Statute states that “the rules contained in this Statute shall apply to workers who provide paid services as employees”. Therefore, any worker who maintains a subordinate employment relationship with a company must be considered as an employee and, therefore, be subject to the corresponding labor regime.
The hiring of fake self-employed workers has negative consequences for both the workers involved and the employers. In the case of the workers, they are deprived of the rights and guarantees to which they are entitled as employees, such as the right to social protection, collective bargaining as well as occupational health and safety.
Employers who hire bogus self-employed workers face administrative sanctions and, from now on, also prison sentences.
Law 11/2021, on measures to prevent and combat tax fraud, establishes a prison sentence between three months and three years for employers who hire bogus self-employed persons.
If the fraud affects a high number of workers or has a special social or economic significance, the penalty is increased to between six months and six years imprisonment.
In conclusion, the hiring of fake freelancers is an illegal practice that can have serious consequences for employers and affected workers. With the entrance into force of Law 11/2021, this practice is penalized with up to six years in prison, so it is important that companies review their contracts and adjust their hiring policy to the labor regulations.
If you consider that you are being hired as a false self-employed, but you do not know how to report it, do not hesitate to contact us.
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