by HRHQ Editorial Team
A recent study has found that while nearly 75% of employees aged 15-19 years old could legally be paid a rate below the minimum wage, they actually get paid more.
The minimum wage in Ireland in 2023 is €11.30 per hour. However, current legislation allows employers to pay young workers a sub-minimum youth rate. Those aged below 18 years can be paid 70 per cent of the full, adult minimum wage rate, those aged 18 years can be paid 80 per cent of the full rate, while those aged 19 years can be paid 90 per cent of the full rate.
Sub-minimum youth rates in Ireland have received criticism by policymakers, both nationally and internationally, for being too low to ensure a decent standard of living for young people. As such, reform or abolition of sub-minimum youth rates in Ireland is an area of active policy debate. The study by the ERSI funded by the Low Pay Commission examines the incidence and the characteristics of employees paid below the full national minimum wage rate. This research provides evidence on the number of employees, and the type of employees, that could be impacted by any changes made to the sub-minimum youth rates.
Dr Paul Redmond, an author of the report said, “Sub-minimum youth rates in Ireland have received a lot of attention in recent months, as they have been criticised by some policymakers as being too low to allow a decent standard of living for young people. Our research shows that very few employees are on a sub-minimum youth rate. Most young people who could legally be paid a sub-minimum youth rate are actually on higher pay. Of those that are on sub-minimum youth rates, the majority work in either accommodation, food or retail and most are students.”