Young people must receive fair pay

Ivana Bacik TD
12 June 2024

Labour leader Ivana Bacik has called on Government to take action now to end the sub-minimum wages for workers under 20 years of age.

Since 1 January 2024, the national minimum wage is €12.70 per hour. However, young people continue to be discriminated against when it comes to pay rates.

Anyone working under the age of 18 is only entitled to 70% of the national minimum wage (€8.89 per hour), while 18 year olds can be paid as little as 80% of the national minimum wage (€10.16), and 19 year olds can be paid only 90% (€11.43).

During Leaders’ Questions today, Deputy Bacik said:

“As secondary schools and university students take up summer jobs in the coming weeks, I’m calling on Government to stamp out the unfair practice of allowing sub-minimum rates of pay for our young people.

“Ireland continues to infantilise young people here by turning a blind eye to the culture of unpaid internships that exists, as well as retaining a system within which young workers are treated so unfairly when it comes to rates of pay.

“Just yesterday, the Low Pay Commission, set up by the Labour Party, recommended the abolition of the different rates of pay for young people. Maintaining a discriminatory system for young people could never have stood up to scrutiny when evaluated on the evidence.

“It is a change that the Labour Party has long called for, but Fine Gael continue to allow this wage discrimination against young people.

“As Ireland’s school completion rates become the envy of other countries, the rationale for pay discrimination which leaves young people so vulnerable cannot hold water. It’s time to act now and treat our young people with dignity at work now.”

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