Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2009

21.

Evidence in proceedings for an offence.

21.— The Principal Act is amended by the insertion of the following sections after section 3B (inserted by section 39 of the Social Welfare Law Reform and Pensions Act 2006):

“Admissibility of certain documents in proceedings for an offence.

3C.— (1) In proceedings for an offence under this Act consisting of a contravention of subsection (1) or (2) of section 58A—

( a) a payroll document, or a document that purports to be a payroll document, shall be admissible as evidence of the matters specified in the document,

( b) a document (other than a payroll document) prepared or kept in the ordinary course of business, or that purports to have been prepared or kept in the ordinary course of business, by a person who had, or may reasonably be considered to have had, personal knowledge of the matters specified in the document shall be admissible as evidence of the matters specified in the document, and

( c) a document that purports to be a reproduction in legible form of a document to which paragraph ( a) or ( b) applies stored in non-legible form shall be admissible as evidence of the matters specified therein, if the court before which the proceedings have been brought is satisfied that it was reproduced in the course of the normal operation of the reproduction system concerned.

(2) Subsection (1)( b) and subsection (1)( c) (in so far as it relates to a document to which subsection (1)( b) applies) shall not apply to a document—

( a) containing information that is privileged from disclosure in proceedings for an offence,

( b) prepared for the purposes, or in contemplation, of—

(i) the investigation of any offence,

(ii) an investigation or inquiry carried out pursuant to or under any enactment,

(iii) any proceedings whether civil or criminal, or

(iv) proceedings of a disciplinary nature, or

( c) prepared after the alleged commission of the offence concerned.

(3) Nothing in this section shall operate to render inadmissible in proceedings for an offence any document as evidence of any matter specified therein, that is so admissible by virtue of any rule of law or enactment other than this Act.

(4) In this section—

‘business’ includes any trade, profession or other occupation carried on—

( a) for reward or otherwise, and

( b) either in the State or outside the State;

‘payroll document’ means a payslip, payroll ledger, book of account or other document prepared or kept by or on behalf of an employer in respect of one or more than one of his or her employees that contains a record of payments or deductions made by, or on behalf of, that employer in respect of the employee or employees concerned.

Presumptions in proceedings for an offence.

3D.— (1) In proceedings for an offence under this Act consisting of a contravention of subsection (1) or (2) of section 58A, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, that a payroll document referred to in section 3C found on the premises of any employer relates to an employee of that employer.

(2) Where a document is retrieved from an electronic storage and retrieval system, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, that the person who ordinarily uses that system is the author of the document.”.