Home tutors deserve the right to a pension, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Cork North Central TD, Colm Burke, recently tabled Parliamentary Questions on the matter in the Dáil.
Deputy Burke said: “Government Home Tuition Grant Schemes provide funding towards a compensatory educational service for children who, for a number of specific reasons, are unable to attend school.
“The 1,425 home tutors currently working in Ireland are classed as self-employed and are subject to PSRI Class S which puts them at a disadvantage in that they do not have the right to sick leave, holiday pay, maternity benefit or pension entitlements.
“While they are engaged by the parents/guardian of the child receiving the tuition and are not contracted directly by the Department of Education and Skills like school-based teachers, the Department does act as a payroll agent for home tutors. It could now be argued that they are employees of the Department but are being treated as sub-contractors. A similar approach, if adopted by the private sector, would receive very serious criticism from the public.
“I believe consideration must be given to applying the same PRSI class to the emoluments paid to home tutors governed by the home tuition grant scheme to that which applies to teachers working in schools, so that they their entitlements are the same.
“This is an important area of education. Home tutors ensure the right to proper education for children with chronic illness, and special educational needs, as well as children who are temporarily without a school place. We must value home tutors in the same way we do teachers and ensure their rights are not diminished.”