Secretarial assistants and parliamentary assistants working in the House of the Oireachtas are engaged directly by members. The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission has the power to regulate the provision of “secretarial facilities” to Members and “qualifying parties”, though the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform retains authority for terms and conditions of employment (e.g. pay and hours of work).
I have no specific information on the class of PRSI which is paid by current members of staff. In most cases it will be PRSI Class A, the common PRSI class for employment. However, where staff are over 66 or engaged through a contract for services different classes could apply.
The benefits that can accrue from PRSI Class A contributions, subject to meeting the qualifying criteria, are:
- adoptive benefit;
- carer’s benefit;
- guardian's payment (contributory);
- health and safety benefit;
- illness benefit;
- invalidity pension;
- jobseeker’s benefit;
- maternity benefit;
- occupational injuries benefit;
- paternity benefit;
- state pension (contributory);
- treatment benefit;
- widow’s, widower’s or surviving civil partner’s (contributory).
If staff have concerns that the wrong class of PRSI is being paid, they may apply to my Department’s Scope Section for a determination on the status of their employment and the correct class of PRSI.
I hope that this clarifies the matter.