IRISH LOW PAY COMMISSION RECOMMENDS INCREASE IN NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE OF 50 CENT
The Low Pay Commission is recommending an increase in the National Minimum Wage of 50 cent per hour. In its first report the Commission, which is tasked by Government to advise on the appropriate rate of the minimum wage, concludes that the National Minimum Wage should rise by 5.8% to €9.15 per hour.
The current rate of the minimum wage is €8.65. The minimum wage was last increased in 2011 by €1 to €8.65, following a cut of a similar amount imposed by the previous Government earlier in 2011.
In a comprehensive report submitted to Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash TD, the Low Pay Commission sets out a range of data it has considered in recommending the 50 cent increase. Commissioners also sought submissions from interested parties and consulted directly with workers on the minimum wage and employers in relevant economic sectors.
In making its recommendation, the Low Pay Commission sets out a range of considerations it has taken into account, including:
- The available evidence suggests that moderate increases in the minimum wage will not lead to significant loss of jobs
- The Irish economy is recovering although it still faces risks particularly in the external environment
- The number of people in employment is increasing
- Unemployment remains high but has declined particularly in the last year
- Competitiveness has improved, partly due to exchange rate movements and it is important that this trend is maintained
- While inflation has been relatively low, the minimum wage has effectively remained at its current level for the past 8 years
- It is of critical importance to enterprise development that the design of both the tax and PRSI systems creates the right conditions for job creation, including the incentives (from both employer and employee perspectives) for employees to work additional hours and to increase pay where appropriate.
Chairperson of the Low Pay Commission, Dr Donal de Buitléir said, “I am very pleased to have successfully completed the first task that was assigned to the new Low Pay Commission, which was to recommend an appropriate rate for the National Minimum Wage. The Members of the Commission have been appointed for a three-year period, so we see this as the first step in the process of coming to a better understanding of the impacts of low pay in Ireland on both employees and employers. We look forward to tackling some of the other aspects of the low pay environment which we expect the Minister to ask us to engage with over the coming years.”
This is the first report from the Low Pay Commission, which will review the National Minimum Wage on an annual basis and other related matters.