Thursday, 6 July 2017
Department of Education and Skills
19. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that persons in the English language teaching sector experience abuses (details supplied). [31628/17]
The majority of English language schools in Ireland are privately run. The relationship between teachers and private providers of education is based on a private contract. Issues relating to working conditions are a matter between the two parties and do not come under the remit of my Department.
There is an extensive range of legislation in Ireland which protects the employment rights of workers, including English language teachers, in relation to employment contracts, payment of wages and related matters. It is the responsibility of the employer in the first instance to ensure that their employees receive their employment rights. Where an employee considers that their rights have been breached they may bring a claim under the appropriate legislation to the Workplace Relations Commission. The Workplace Relations Commission is also responsible for monitoring a range of employment rights through its Inspection Service.
A core component of the Government's future policy for the English language sector will be the introduction of the International Education Mark (IEM). It is the intention that the regulations governing the IEM will include a requirement that all obligations concerning national employment legislation are complied with by education and training providers seeking to access the Mark.
The necessary legislation to facilitate the introduction of the IEM is being progressed by my Department. This legislation will also provide Quality and Qualifications Ireland, who will manage the IEM, with additional powers to examine the bona fides of providers, including English language providers.