30/11/2006

Irish Labour Affairs Minister To Consult On Minimum Wage

Ireland's Minister for Labour Affairs Tony Killeen has received the Labour Court’s recommendation in relation to the national minimum hourly rate of pay.

However, the Minister said that the Economic and Social Research Institute would be consulted before deciding whether to increase the minimum wage.

The Labour Court has recommended that the minimum hourly rate of pay should be increased to €8.30 per hour with effect from 1 January 2007 and €8.65 with effect from 1 July, 2007.

"I thank the Labour Court for their consideration of this matter, which I understand has included a thorough consultation process," the Minister said. "I am conscious of the very tight deadlines to meet the wish of the social partners, as expressed in the Partnership Agreement Towards 2016, that the minimum wage be adjusted with affect from 1 January 2007 and I appreciate the Court’s commitment in considering the relevant issues and completing the process in this timeframe."

The Minister stated that under the National Minimum Wage legislation he must now take into account the impact the proposed rate may have on employment, the overall economic conditions in the State and national competitiveness, when considering the Court’s recommendation.

Introduced in Ireland in April 2000, the National minimum hourly rate of pay was set at £4.40 (€5.59 per hour).

Since then there have been four increases to the rate, the last of which saw it increase to its current rate of €7.65 per hour from 1 May 2005.

(SP)

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