Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
National Minimum Wage
161. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the rationale following reports of the Low Pay Commission’s commitment to only a 1% increase in the national minimum wage for 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26803/20]
There is now a well-established method for determining the National Minimum Wage.
The Low Pay Commission was established under the National Minimum Wage (Low Pay Commission) Act 2015. The primary remit of the Commission is to make annual recommendations to Government on the appropriate rate of the National Minimum Wage using an evidence-based approach.
In every year since its founding in 2015, the Low Pay Commission has recommended an increase in the minimum wage and this recommendation has always been accepted and implemented by the Government. This has resulted in an increase in the minimum wage of €1.45 over five years.
Given the difficult and uncertain position currently facing many minimum wage employers, the Low Pay Commission recommended a 10c increase in the minimum wage for 2021. This recommendation was accepted and approved by the Government. A Statutory Order has been signed to bring the increase into effect from January 1st, 2021, when the national minimum wage will rise to €10.20 per hour. This will bring the increase in the minimum wage to €1.55 over six years.
It should be noted that the Programme for Government contains a commitment to progress to a living wage over the lifetime of the Government. I recently met with the Low Pay Commission to discuss options for taking forward the commitment to progress to a living wage and the role the Commission can play in meeting this commitment.
The Programme for Government recognises the importance of the Low Pay Commission in ensuring that those who are in low-paid employment are valued. While the living wage initiative is being developed, the Government will continue to be guided by the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission with regard to any future changes in the minimum wage.