Written answers

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

National Minimum Wage

Photo of Louise O'ReillyLouise O'Reilly (Dublin Fingal, Sinn Fein)
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43. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the steps she will take to replace the minimum wage with the living wage. [15755/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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Setting the National Minimum Wage is governed by the National Minimum Wage Act 2000, and the National Minimum Wage (Low Pay Commission) Act 2015.  The National Minimum Wage Act 2000 deals with setting the National Minimum Hourly Rate of Pay.  The National Minimum Wage 2000 was amended upon the establishment of the Low Pay Commission in 2015.  The Low Pay Commission is the independent body which makes recommendations to the Minister on the rate of National Minimum Wage once each year.  

Since its establishment, the Low Pay Commission has submitted recommendations on the appropriate rate of the National Minimum Wage for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.  The Commission’s recommendations have all been accepted by Government, and represent an increase in the National Minimum Wage of 16.7% since 2015.  With effect from 1 February 2020, the current rate of the National Minimum Wage for an adult worker is €10.10 per hour.  

It is important that Ireland’s statutory National Minimum Wage and the Living Wage concept are not conflated.  The Living Wage is a voluntary, societal initiative, centred on the social, business and economic case to ensure that, wherever it can be afforded, employers will pay a rate of pay that provides an income that is sufficient to meet an individual’s basic needs, such as housing, food, clothing, transport and healthcare.  As a voluntary initiative, the Living Wage has no legislative basis and confers no statutory entitlement.  

The Programme for Government includes a commitment to progress to a living wage over the lifetime of the Government.

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