The new national minimum wage came into effect from the 1st February 2011. The rate is €7.65 per hour.
Who Does The Minimum Wage Apply To?
The minimum wage applies to all employees except the following categories of employees –
- Close relatives of the employers such as a spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister.
- Apprentice printers, bricklayers, mechanics, plumbers, carpenters and electricians.
Are All Employees Covered By the Minimum Wage?
Only an experienced adult employee is covered by the minimum wage. An experienced adult employee is an employee who has any work experience in any two years after turning 18.
Can An Employer Reduce An Existing Employees Pay?
An employee’s rate of pay is a condition of their contract of employment. In some cases the contract states that the employee is paid at the “prevailing national minimum wage hourly rate”. Where this is the case then an employer may reduce employees’ pay in line with these rates. In other cases there may be a provision in the contract that provides for reduction in pay. Where this is not the case, any change would have to by agreement between the parties.
What Can An Employee Do If They Are Paid Less Than The Minimum Wage?
The employee may make a complaint to the National Employment Rights Authority to investigate under payment. They may also refer a complaint to the Rights Commissioner.
What Can An Employee Do If Their Pay Has Been Reduced Without Agreement?
The Payment of Wages Act 1991 provides that non payment of wages is regarded as an unlawful reduction from wages unless there is an agreement between the parties to do so. The employee may refer the matter to the Rights Commissioner under the Payment of Wages Act 1991.