Thursday, 12 July 2012
Industrial Relations (Amendment)(No. 3) Bill 2011: Committee Stage
Sean Barrett (Independent)
I welcome the Minister. The worrying point made by Senator Cullinane was in regard to people not paying the minimum wage. Do we have any figures in that regard? Perhaps Senator Cullinane might inform me. The IBEC approach to the legislation was that we had a relatively high minimum wage and it had been defended by the Government. When the Minister of State, Deputy Sherlock, was in the House, I complimented the Government for increasing the minium wage above what the troika had recommended. However, if people are not paying that, the question arises that we need much stronger penalties. We are relying on the minimum wage so much that if Senator Cullinane has found evidence it is not being paid, then the penalties for not paying it should be increased. The approach of IBEC was that, with a high minimum wage and 40 pieces of legislation, this Bill was not necessary. However, if one of the protections is now in doubt, we have to increase the penalties for not paying the minimum wage. If the Minister or Senator Cullinane has the evidence, that would be a serious development.