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Legalities Associated With Online Tuition Jobs

By Anurag, published on 17/10/2019 We Love Prof - IN > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > Legal Aspects of a Home Tutor Job

So it seems like you already have a tutoring business running or are thinking of starting a home tutor job. But either way, you should be aware of the rights you own and the laws you need to follow as a private tutor for legitimate exercising of your services. Having proper knowledge of such legalities keeps you protected against unexpected circumstances that can otherwise be damaging to your career or your reputation.

In India, there is one private tutor for every four students according to an NSSO report conducted with over 7 million students. But more than half of that population aren’t lawfully conducting their tutorial activities. Now it’s up to you to decide which side of the line you want to be in.

This article will help you in understanding the legal aspects of a home tutor job which apply even for online tuition jobs.

Report The Income You Earn From Tuitions

Freelancing tutors get to be their own boss, fix their own schedule and decide their desired pay rates per hour. In this way, they make sufficient extra income and end up increasing their overall home income.

Know the laws on tax returns Report your income to avoid unnecessary legal complexities. Source: Visualhunt

Now, if your earnings go above INR 1,20,000 or your total income for the past three years adds up to be more than INR 10,00,000, you will have to maintain proper monetary records of your job or business. These records include information regarding the amount of money received and the date of receipt. You can also subtract necessary and valid expenses from your logs to reduce the net taxes imposed on your earnings.

Now as a home tutor or an online tutor, you might feel that since your total income is less than the stated threshold, you don’t need to keep accounting records. And that is not untrue as we can see in a country like India where there are over a million tutors, not everyone maintains income records but they still don’t face any legal inconveniences for it.

But you never know where your earnings might reach in the near future. Hence keeping financial records from an early period in your tutorial business ensures that you are protected against tax laws.

Consequences of Not Reporting Your Income

If you have an average tutorial income you won’t face legal charges for not reporting it. But if your annual earnings exceed INR 1,20,000 and you still don’t report your income then you may have to face some very heavy penalties.

First, the Income Tax Department will send you a notice demanding an explanation for the reason for your inability to report your income. Then it can charge a fine of 50% of the actual tax amount on grounds of underreporting, and a fine of 200% for misreporting.

Thus it is always best to report your earnings beforehand and you can do so by hiring a Chartered Accountant or other professionals who have expertise in these matters.

Background Checks For Private Tutors

Any form of teaching is preferred in an environment that lacks distractions or disturbances. This is achieved by secluding as many people as possible from the surroundings while conducting a teaching session. Would you be able to teach a student in a room that also contains other individuals who are not important to your teaching?

Of course not. Hence you will always want to keep your tutoring abode private. But no doubt, there will always lie a sense of insecurity among guardians who are leaving their wards alone with a stranger for the first time.

This is why background checks are important for private tutors. They provide a certificate of confidence assuring that the holder of the same can be trusted with his or her service. A crime check certificate contains records of past offences committed by an individual along with personal details which are kept confidential.

Depending on those records, an employer or client decides whether or not to hire a particular candidate for a tutor job.

Is Background Check Mandatory For Tutors?

A criminal background check is often required while applying for a job in a company. In India, a criminal background check is not compulsory for home based tutor jobs but big tutoring companies and some online tutoring services have started demanding the same at the time of employment. Hence it depends on what kind of tutoring service you provide.

If you are running a work at home tutoring business you don’t have to worry about it. On the other hand, if you are looking for work in a teaching organisation, you should get yourself a background check certificate.

How To Apply For a Criminal Background Check?

Crime checks are performed on the basis of past records available in the databases of the district, state and local police offices and courts. You should take the help of a background screening professional who has legal access to such criminal and litigation records to apply for a criminal background check.

Genuine Advertising of Service Details

Advertising is one of the most efficient methods of gaining more attention as a tutor. You can advertise your tutoring services through pamphlets, banners, posters, social media ads, google ads e.t.c.

False advertising can entail serious risks Honesty is best as well as fret-free policy. Source: Visualhunt

You can also register yourself into an online database for tutors. Such an online platform is Superprof. Superprof lets you create a detailed tutor profile which is then shown on its website. Now students looking for tutors, if impressed with your profile, will be able to connect with you to avail your services.

But what you write in your advertisements or online profiles must be authentic and verified. If not, you might have to face some serious legal allegations. You cannot claim false degrees, false results of previous students or other unverified qualifications and achievements. Unlike the other legal issues mentioned in this article, this one is imperative and should not be neglected.

Insurance For Private Tutors

As a teacher or tutor, you are supposed to be focused on only one objective and that is to offer quality education to your students. But the real world is filled with unexpected inconveniences that have a habit of arising at the worst of times.

The road of private tutoring too consists of such potholes and you should always be prepared with what to do when you encounter one. Again, this is not a mandatory practice but it is better not to take risks against uncertain mishaps. Even if you don’t intend to harm anyone in anyway, society will blame you if it gets affected by your service. Following are a few insurances that you should claim as a private tutor.

Public Liability Insurance

This insurance covers against charges of injury or harm caused to your client in your premises or under your presence. For example, a student or a student’s parent might get injured in your class by let’s say slipping on the floor, tripping, bad furniture e.t.c. Also, you can, by mistake, harm any of your client’s property like break an item, lose something, damage equipment e.t.c. Your client can always charge you with costs of repair or other relevant compensations. However, this kind of insurance is usually not required in online jobs.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

This insurance protects you against allegations of bad quality of service. Though you might be a really good teacher, sometimes things go against your expectations. The outcome of a teaching session is a product of the efforts made by the teacher as well as the student. Hence, if the student fails to perform up to the expectations, the productivity of the entire session decreases. But in most cases, it is the tutor who gets blamed and henceforth penalised. Thus tutors should always be prepared for such consequences by having a personal indemnity insurance policy cover.

Employer’s Liability Insurance

This insurance is required if you have people working for you. It covers against charges of harm caused to your employee in the course of accomplishing a job you have assigned him or her to do.

You Cannot Be a School Teacher

In India, there is a law that prohibits school teachers from offering home tuition to students, to make extra money. This is because providing tuition leads to inequality in the amount of education imparted to a class of students in a school.

A school teacher is supposed to treat all students equally. Instead, sometimes they tend to facilitate students, who pay them for tuition, with extra skills and knowledge. If you are a school teacher and thinking of offering private tutoring services as a side job, think twice for you are breaking the law which will bring undesirable consequences.

Nowadays, becoming a tutor has turned into a trendy way of making money. There are even online jobs from home for students having a Bachelors or College degree and who are interested in teaching their junior grades. Anyone can become a tutor these days as barring a few most of the legalities associated with private tutoring are voluntary.

But if you want to be a professional, you should act like one. Hence, although the aforementioned practices are yet to be adopted properly in India, if you exercise them you’ll be able to stand out from the crowd and end up earning more recognition. Clients and companies hiring classroom tutors, working from home or online tutors, will choose you over others.

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