People within PRSI Class A are those in industrial, commercial and service-type employment who are employed under a contract of service with reckonable pay of €38 or more per week from all employments, and Civil and Public Servants recruited from 6 April 1995.
Currently, there is no set number of hours per week that must be worked.
Until 1991 the threshold for access to social insurance was based on hours worked – 18 hours.
From April 1991 onwards, the person was insurable at the Class A rate of PRSI if their income equalled or exceeded £25 per week. This threshold was increased to £30 per week from April 1994 and upon conversion to Euro the £30 threshold became €38.
Therefore, based on the current minimum hourly rate of €9.80, an employee working under 4 hours per week gains access to the full range of social insurance benefits.
Employees earning €38 or over per week do not pay the employee portion of the PRSI contribution until their weekly earnings exceed €352. They then pay the employee PRSI rate of 4% on all earnings, with a PRSI credit to reduce the "step effect". Employers pay a PRSI contribution of 8.7% (inclusive of the National Training Fund (NTF) levy of 0.9%) on all earnings once weekly earnings equal or exceed €38 while they pay a higher rate of 10.95% (inclusive of the NTF Levy of 0.9%) once earnings exceed €386 per week.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.