Stoppafusket sends several questions 18 february 2016
Anette Nugent to Stoppafusket 19 februari 2016
Further to your email and our phone conversation yesterday, following are answers to your questions regarding Silverback. Silverback Staffing was formed during the construction recession in Ireland. The country had many highly skilled workers out of work during this time and we identified that other countries appeared to have a shortage of these workers. Silverback only takes on work that will ensure staff are well paid. All taxes and social insurance contributions are paid and up to date. I can confirm that Silverback has business in Ireland, Sweden, Norway and elsewhere. Silverback is a temporary staffing agency that engages staff based on the requirements of our clients and in compliance with legislation.
Silverback appropriately applies the A1 system to all our posted workers in Sweden. A1 certificates have been issued to almost all and the remainder are in open application status. Should any individual employees, through their personal circumstances, not qualify for an A1, then they will be registered with the social insurance authorities in Sweden. This has not yet arisen but may in the future.
A small number of Silverback employees (much smaller than your number) have recently reached tax residency status in Sweden. Tax residency arises based on days actually spent in Sweden and not total employment duration. Silverback has engaged a Swedish accounting and advisory firm to assist the company and its employees to ensure that the complex process for transferring from one jurisdiction to another is managed in accordance with the requirements of both countries. The company is clearly assisting the individuals to ensure that they properly handle their individual tax responsibilities in Sweden as well as ensuring that the Irish tax that has already been correctly withheld and paid over to the Irish authorities is properly assessed and reclaimed.
Silverback has been reporting to Swedish Revenue on a regular basis for some time but as no workers were tax resident until very recently it has always been a zero return. On checking, there has been a delay in the last number of months which has now been addressed. These returns have now been sent. The small fines that have been issued have also now been sent for payment. As noted above, Silverback’s Swedish advisors are assisting with these matters. Regarding your Norway query, Silverback has received written confirmation annually from the Register of Company Accounts in Norway (Brønnøysundregistrene) that the company is in full compliance with its reporting obligations there.
The other points you raise in your email regarding reporting are purely timing issues. Silverback files annual accounts with the Irish Companies Registration Office in full compliance with the Irish Companies Act and always has. Their accounts to the period up to March 2015 have been filed with the Irish Companies Registration Office in accordance with their assigned date of return. I trust this answers all your queries. However, Silverback wishes to categorically state that the company and its owners are most perturbed by your approach, which seems to imply wrongdoing on the company’s behalf just because it is a “foreign company”. In addition, Silverback wants to completely repudiate the suggestion that there is any connection between Silverback Staffing Ltd and the company Atlanco-Rimec and in particular the named individual Michael O’Shea.
As said in our phone conversation, I presume your journalistic standards would ensure no comment or claim is made that might misrepresent or damage the reputation of a company, or people, working legally and appropriately in Sweden. I trust that your claim that you have never published anything untrue will remain so. Please do contact me to fact-check anything else prior to publishing to ensure no inaccuracies or misrepresentations are made.
Stoppafusket to Annette Nugent 21 februari 2016
I have some more questions.
1. You write that Silverback has take contact with a Swedish accounting and advisory firm for help. I thought Silverback had Lacey Consulting in Dublin that had contact with Swedish tax authorities.
2. According to employment contract and the ”handbok” for employees no one at Silverback can be employed för one week, one month and so on. It says it is a probationary period of six month. The majority of the 379 workers that has been posted in Sweden have been working less than six month and many are with so little as just some weeks. How come?
Anette Nugent to Stoppafusket 22 februari 2016
..”Further to your queries, it appears you are intent on writing negatively about Silverback regardless of the answers the company provides to your questions. This is most disappointing. I reiterate my earlier point that Silverback and its owners are most perturbed that you seem to assume wrongdoing on its behalf, apparently just because it is a “foreign company”. I would have thought discrimination based on nationality is as illegal in Sweden as it is in Ireland. Silverback is a temporary staffing company. You appear to not like this kind of company, but that does not automatically make Silverback incorrect. You also appear to be uncomfortable with the idea of people working overseas and in non-permanent positions. Unlike for Swedes, this has long been a cultural and professional norm for Irish people, particularly in the construction sector.
That you are even considering publishing an article about this company on a website focused on problems such as “social dumping” and “job trafficking” hugely misrepresents the company. You run the risk of damaging the reputation of a company and people working legally and appropriately in Sweden. I would ask you to reconsider this.
You have said you do not publish anything that is untrue. Suggesting that Silverback is not acting properly in its business in Sweden is inaccurate, inappropriate and untrue. Again, I would ask you to stand by your word in this regard.
Stoppafusket to Annette Nugent 23 february 2016
I have now gone through all the workers working time in Sweden and calculate after the time they spend in Sweden. I have talk to the Tax Agency to calculate correctly. The day the workers are going home is calculated with in the days in Sweden. From that I have come to a number of 29 workers that during 2015 has to pay taxes in Sweden. Some of them are far over the 183 days and the taxes should have been payed several months ago. Does Silverback have any comments?
The second question is about the employment contract. I have seen several employment contract and the workers are contracted for work that starts with a probation time for six month (than can be up to 12 months). But so many workers are just working 1-3 months. Sometimes less.Then they are sent home. Not for work for silverback in Ireland. And they do not get payed for the period of notice. We are talking about several hundered persons that are working during this conditions. The handbook that Silverback is given the workers is very meticulous and gives a picture of that the workers are employed and have employment security. But in the reality it is not like that. You are having mostly your business in Sweden and in Sweden an employer can not act like that without getting problems. Does Silverback have any comments to this?
I am working on an article about Silverback that will include among other things the taxes, employment contract, A1 and Paddy Lyons past in Atlanco Rimec.
Annette Nugent to Stoppafusket 25 february 2016
Thank you for your email. Regarding your questions:
Silverback is very aware of how to calculate days for tax residency and maintains a full and proper count. I can confirm that the number you suggest is untrue and the situation you describe currently relates to a much smaller number. You have confirmed to me previously that you have “never published anything untrue” so I trust you would not publish guesses. Similarly, it would be untrue not to reference the fact that Silverback has engaged a Swedish accountancy and advisory firm to assist the company and the relevant employees to ensure that their personal tax responsibilities are in order from a Swedish perspective.
Re the employment contract, please note again that Silverback is a temporary staffing company. Employees are employed by an Irish temporary staffing agency and they operate in compliance with the rules of such employment. Asserting that Silverback is in some way not a temporary staffing agency is again, factually inaccurate. I trust this clarifies. Silverback is happy to fact-check any comment or assertion relating to the company for you, to prevent inaccuracies and untruths. As noted before, Silverback and its owners remain most perturbed that you appear determined to publish an article that may suggest that Silverback is acting improperly in Sweden or elsewhere. Again I would suggest you reconsider.
Stoppafusket to Annette Nugent 27 february 2016
I have not the annual report (annual account) for Silverback. And I see that the monthly average employee is 62. Comparing with the posting registry it is far to little. The annual year is 1 april 2014 to 31 mars 2015. And just during january to mars it is 141 persons. Does Silverback has any comments why it is so different figures?
Annette Nugent to Stoppafusket 29 february 2016
I’m afraid I don’t understand your email. It’s not clear exactly what you want the company to comment on? I can confirm that the average employee figure you mention is indeed an average. In some months actual figures are higher, some months lower. That is why it is called an average. As always, happy to fact-check any comment or assertion on your side to ensure no inaccuracies or misrepresentations.