Living Wage increase highlights chronic level of underpay in childcare sector- O’Sullivan

05 July 2017

Labour spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has said that the recommended rise in the Living Wage highlights the appalling pay levels of workers in the childcare sector.

The Living Wage Technical group has raised the rate by 20 cent to €11.70 per hour, which it says is needed to maintain a socially acceptable minimum standard of living in Ireland today.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“This increase to the recommended Living Wage drives home yet again the appalling levels of pay workers are earning in the childcare sector.

“Despite many workers having a third level qualification, their value to society is not being reflected in their pay, with many earning an average wage of around €10.27 an hour.

“It is also the case that most childcare workers are women; women also account for more than 60 per cent of people on the minimum wage in Ireland, and what’s more have to contend with the gender pay gap, which currently stands at around 13.9 per cent.

“This is not only sending the wrong message to young women and girls starting out in their careers that they are somehow of less value to the workforce than men, but in the case of the childcare sector, will put many people off a career in this area.

“If we want people with good qualifications, who are committed to caring for and educating young children, we need to make sure they can build sustainable careers.

“The Labour Party has long been calling for all childcare workers to be on the Living Wage at a minimum- which now stands at €11.70.

“With the spiralling costs of rent and the shortage of affordable housing we are faced with today, this is the absolute minimum amount that workers in the childcare, and indeed all sectors, should be paid.”

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