The National Minimum Wage (NMW) has increased from €10.50 to €11.30 per hour, as of January 1st 2023.
The increase has seen over 165,000 workers’ hourly rate of pay rise by 80 cents, as rents and consumer prices continue to soar.
The recent increase does not apply to workers below the age of 20, who remain subject to sub-minimum rates of pay. The failure to abolish age-based sub-minimum rates has been criticised by Mandate Trade Union. In a recent press release, Mandate described the rates as ‘discriminatory and disrespectful towards younger workers.’
At present, workers under 18 are paid €7.91 (70% of NMW) per hour, while 18 year olds are paid €9.04 (80% of NMW). For 19 year olds the hourly rate stands at €10.17 (90% of NMW). Those aged 20+ are entitled to the full NMW of €11.30, still €2.55 short of the €13.85 recommended by the Living Wage Technical Group.
Workers can be paid higher wages if this is stipulated by their contract or if a collective bargaining agreement is reached with a trade union, or if they successfully negotiate a raise with their employer. Although the increase is set to benefit hundreds of thousands of workers, including many students who work throughout the academic year, unions have voiced concerns over the drastic reduction of purchasing power in real terms that has occurred as a result of the ongoing crisis.
The increase has been accompanied by amendments to sick pay legislation and fiscal policy. Information relating to worker’s rights and industrial legislation is available at www.citizensinformation.ie, and at local trade union branches. Readers with queries relating to their employment rights are encouraged to contact a trade union representative, or alternatively consult with the Workplace Relations Commission.
Readers who would like to share their experiences of working in minimum, or sub-minimum, wage positions are asked to email email@example.com.