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Ireland - Minimum Wages - 2009


LAST UPDATE

03 June 2009

SOURCES


Name of Act

National Minimum Wage Act,
Act No. 5 of 2000, dated 31 March 2000, as amended up to Act No. 10 of 2007.

Name of Act

National Minimum Wage Act 2000 (National Minimum Hourly Rate of Pay) Order 2006,
No. 667 of 2006.

Name of Act

Industrial Relations Act,
Act No. 26 of 1946, dated 27 August, 1946, as amended up to 1ndustrial Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004 (No. 4 of 2004).

LEGAL DEFINITIONS


Employee/worker

Means a person of any age who has entered into, or works or has worked under, a contract of employment.
National Minimum Wage Act §2(1b)

Employer

Means the person with whom the employee has entered into, or for whom the employee works or has worked under, a contract of employment, and includes a transferee of an undertaking.
National Minimum Wage Act §2(1b)

MINIMUM WAGE FIXING


Procedure


Government decides after tripartite or bipartite body discussions/recommendations

The national minimum wage rate is set in an Order by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
Adjustment of this rate follows either:·
- a national economic agreement among economic and social interests in the State which includes a recommendation concerning the national minimum hourly rate of pay for employees for the duration of the agreement. The Minister may accept, reject or vary this recommendation. In the case of a rejection or variation of the recommendation, the Minister must state the reasons for not accepting the recommendation to the Parliament ; or
- any organisation(s) representing employers’ and /or employees’ interests requesting that the Labour Court examine the national minimum hourly rate of pay and make a recommendation to the Minister based on its findings. An examination of the national minimum wage rate by the Labour Court must include consultation with representatives of employees and employers in the private and public sector of the economy. If agreement is reached between the parties as to the appropriate hourly rate of pay of employees, that rate is recommended to the Minister. If no agreement is reached, the Labour Court may still make a recommendation concerning the hourly rate of pay, based on certain factors.
National Minimum Wage Act § 11-13

Minimum wages set directly by tripartite negotiations

Minimum wage rates may be also set out in Employment Regulation Orders (EROs) made by the Labour Court following a submission by a Joint Labour Committee. A Joint Labour Committee (JLC) is established by a statutory order of the Labour Court under the Industrial Relations Act. It is an independent body made up of equal numbers of employer and worker representatives appointed by the Labour Court, with a chair appointed by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
Industrial Relations Act §35, 42, 43 and Second Schedule

Minimum wage set through decentralized collective bargaining

Minimum wages may be set out in Registered Employment Agreements (REAs) made by collective agreements between trade unions and employers which are registered with the Labour Courts. They must not be lower than the national minimum hourly rate of pay.
Industrial Relations Act §25 et seq.

Criteria


Level of wages and incomes in the country

If no agreement between employers` and employees` representatives has been reached, the Labour Court when making a recommendation to the Minister concerning the minimum wage rate has to take the movement of earnings since the last minimum rate of pay into account.
National Minimum Wage Act §13(5)

Economic development

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment must consider the overall economic conditions in the State when setting the national minimum hourly rate of pay.
National Minimum Wage Act §11(1)

Level of employment

The Labour Court must consider the likely impact that a recommendation made would have on the level of unemployment and employment and whether they are increasing or decreasing. The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment must consider the impact the proposed national minimum hourly rate of pay may have on employment.
National Minimum Wage Act §13(5), 11(1)

Inflation rate

The Labour Court must consider the likely impact that a recommendation made would have on inflation in the economy.
National Minimum Wage Act §13(5)

Other provisions

When setting the national minimum hourly rate of pay, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment must consider national competitiveness.
If no agreement between employers` and employees` representatives has been reached, the Labour Court when making a recommendation to the Minister has to take the relevant exchange rate movement and national competitiveness into account.
National Minimum Wage Act §13(5), 11

Coverage


Scope

The Minimum Wage Act applies to a person of any age who has entered into, or works or has worked under, a contract of employment.
National Minimum Wage Act §5

Excluded categories


» Workers

The national minimum wage rate does not apply to a person who is the spouse, father, mother, grandmother, step-father, step-mother, son, daughter, step-son, step-daughter, grandson, grand-daughter, brother, sister, half-brother or half-sister of an employer, employed by the Employer.
Apprentices who come within the scope of the Industrial Training Act, or Labour Services Act are also excluded.
National Minimum Wage Act §5(a), (b)

Specific minimum wage rates


» Specific minimum wage by occupation

No

» Specific minimum wage by sector

Yes. Minimum wage rates for specific sectors are set out in Employment Regulation Orders (EROs) and Registered Employment Agreements (REAs).

» Specific minimum wage by region

There are partly regional minimum wages by sector and occupation; e.g. in the Printing Industry, Dublin, a specific Registered Employment Agreement (REA) applies.
see see

» Minimum wage levels for specific categories of workers


» Trainees

An employee, who has attained the age of 18 years, that undertakes a period of training authorised by the employer either in the workplace or elsewhere during normal working hours, is entitled to a lower minimum rate of pay. Rates are as follows:
· first one-third period (not exceeding 12 months) 75%
· second one-third period (not exceeding 12 months) 80%
· third one-third period (not exceeding 12 months) 90%.
National Minimum Wage Act §16(1)

» Youth

An employee who has not attained the age of 18 years shall be paid a rate that is not less than 70% of the national minimum hourly rate of pay.
An employee who has attained the age of 18 years shall receive at least 80% of the minimum wage in their first year after having commenced employment and at least 90% of the minimum wage in their second year after having commenced employment.
National Minimum Wage Act §14(b), 15(b)

Level


Minimum wage level(s) in national currency

EUR 8.65 per hour.
National Minimum Wage Act 2000 (National Minimum Hourly Rate of Pay) §4

Last minimum wage update

1 July 2007.
National Minimum Wage Act 2000 (National Minimum Hourly Rate of Pay) §4

In-kind allowances

A national minimum hourly rate of pay may include an allowance for board with lodgings, board only or lodgings only at such rates as the Minister may specify.
National Minimum Wage Act §11

Rate of payment


» Hourly

Yes.
National Minimum Wage Act 2000 (National Minimum Hourly Rate of Pay) §4

Scheduled frequency of adjustment

The legislation states that the Minister should review minimum rates of pay from time to time. No date is specified.
National Minimum Wage Act §12(1)

Enforcement mechanisms


Labour inspection

Labour Inspectors also ensure that the provisions of the Act are adhered to and may enter work-places to make the necessary enquiries and examination.
National Minimum Wage Act §33

Fines in national currency for non-respect of legislation

An employer who refuses or fails to pay an employee the minimum hourly rate of pay is guilty of an offence. A person found guilty of an offence under the National Minimum Wage Act is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,500 (EUR 1,900) or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both. Conviction on indictment results in liability of up to £10,000 (EUR 12,700) or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or both.
National Minimum Wage Act §35(1), 37

Other penalties

A dispute between an employer and employee concerning payment of the minimum rate of pay may be referred to a Rights Commissioner who shall make a decision and advise both the parties and the Labour Court of its decision. The decision of a Rights Commissioner may include an award that covers the difference between the amount actually paid to an employee and the amount that ought to have been paid, plus expenses.
National Minimum Wage Act §24, 26(2)

Results generated on: 23rd April 2014 at 16:41:43.
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