Sub-minimum wage rates must be abolished

Labour Youth
06 December 2023

The Labour Youth Executive have expressed deep concern with the recent publication of the Low Pay Commission report on recommendations for the National Minimum Wage. Labour Youth have long campaigned for sub-minimum rates of pay to be abolished in Ireland.

The current sub-minimum pay rates result in workers between 15-19 being paid up to 70%  less than the full minimum wage, even when doing the exact same job as someone receiving the full minimum wage. This system which was introduced in 2019 has resulted in employers being able to exploit young workers in Ireland. We in Labour Youth believe that an equal day of labour should result in an equal day of pay.

Based on the Budget 2024, the minimum wage will be €12.70 per hour. This means a 17 year old with 2 years experience could be paid €8.89, while a 19 year old with no experience would be earning at least €11.43 and anyone 20 years or older regardless of experience would earn €12.70 at minimum. All these employees could be doing the exact same work, but because of their age be entitled to different wages than each other. We believe this is fundamentally unfair.

Labour Youth Campaigns Officer Dylan Bernard Gallagher said:

“We believe employers are taking advantage of the opportunity to pay those under the age of 20 less than minimum wage.

“The publication of this report, along with Budget 2024. are disappointing and make no effort to tackle the completely unjust sub-minimum wage rates. While we did see an increase to the minimum wage this will not help many young workers who despite their age still have financial obligations and are suffering from the increased cost of living.”

Labour Youth are calling on Government to value young workers and abolish the unjust sub-minimum wage for young workers. Labour Youth will continue to campaign until this unfair system is abolished. It’s time to protect our young workers, it is time to pay them fairly and it is time to Build An Ireland For All.

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