Fórsa backs minimum wage call

Fórsa has written to the Low Pay Commission to endorse the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ (ICTU) call for the statutory minimum wage to increase by at least 3%. The unions made their submission earlier this month, and argued that, over time, the minimum wage should be aligned with the so-called living wage, currently defined by the Government as €10.50 an hour.

Last month, the statutory minimum wage increased by 3.2%, or €0.30, on foot of a majority recommendation from the Low Pay Commission. ICTU says this level of increase needs to happen every year if the Government is to meet its Programme for Government commitment of a €10.50 minimum by 2021.

The rate is currently €9.55 for an experienced adult worker, but it falls to just €6.69 for under-18s. The ICTU submission points out that most people on the minimum wage are women and younger workers, and says a higher rate would help tackle the gender pay gap and encourage labour market participation.

The submission says the relatively small number of people on minimum pay – compared to the total workforce – means an increase would have little impact on employment levels.

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