Cash visa firm to pay ex-senior employee €12,400


A company promoting Irish property investment under the government’s cash-for-visa scheme has been ordered to pay a former employee €12,400 after failing to pay his salary for four months.

He had, however, submitted payslips to the revenue commissioners showing he had paid wages between November 2020 and February 2021, leaving Daoquan Zhang liable for income tax on money he never received. , he told the Workplace Relations Commission.

In a decision released on Friday, the WRC upheld Mr. Zhang’s claim under the Salary Payments Act against Huawen Foundation Ltd, where he had worked as an international investment manager with a salary of €37,500.

The company did not appear for a remote arbitration hearing in February.

“When the pandemic hit, the business was not running well,” Mr. Zhang said in evidence. “I understood it, [but] in Ireland we have pandemic supports. For some reason they didn’t apply,” he said.

He said he received his last salary in October 2020, but continued to work until February 2021 without pay until he gave his leave. He told adjudicating officer Hugh Lonsdale that he was claiming his unpaid wages and holiday pay owed to him.

“It’s been four months without getting paid,” he said. “They issued payslips [but] I have proof of my bank statement, no transactions from November.

“Basically I’m in debt to Revenue for over €1,600 for taxes I haven’t paid,” he added. “That’s the part that really drove me crazy. Revenues said they couldn’t do anything. It’s ok I understand [if] I can’t get paid [but] you shouldn’t be filing my payslips, right.

He stated that he had not received the payslips in question from his employer. “I downloaded them from Revenue. They filed my payslips with the taxman,” he said.

“I asked when I would be paid but they didn’t answer,” Mr. Zhang said.

Decision

Mr Lonsdale decided that Mr Zhang was entitled to €12,400 gross salary for the four months in which he was not paid.

The Huawen Foundation is 100% owned by British businessman Kai Dai, managing director of property investor Kylin Prime Group, which has subsidiaries in Ireland, Switzerland and Cyprus.

“All of our investment opportunities are eligible for Irish residency under the Irish Investor Immigration Scheme,” its website homepage reads.

Until early February the Huawen Foundation had an address in a Georgian townhouse office on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin, when it changed its registered office to the Nuremore Hotel & Country Club, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan.

Individual applicants to the Immigrant Investor Program can choose to invest €1 million in an Irish business for a minimum of three years; 2 million euros in any SCPI on Iseq; or make a philanthropic donation of €500,000.

A 2017 review found that more than 90% of program applicants were Chinese nationals. Data released by Justice Minister Helen McEntee in response to a parliamentary question last November revealed that some 1,400 visas had been issued under the scheme since its inception in 2012.

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