Up Arrow
 
Question Icon
 

Select an option from the dropdown list and press GO

 
Question Icon
 

Select an option from the dropdown list and then press GO

 
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Information Icon Water Mark
Up Arrow

Add to Binder allows you to add Workplace Relations content to your personal binder for viewing or printing later.

Binder icon image Binder

To access your binder, click the Binder link at the top of the page.

 
 

National Minimum Wage

What is the meant by the National Minimum Wage?

The National Minimum Wage is the lowest average hourly rate that can be paid by an employer to an employee. This rate is set and governed by the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000 , and Regulations made under that Act.

To whom does the National Minimum Wage Act apply?

The Act applies to all employees, including full-time, part-time, temporary and casual employees, except the following categories of employees who are excluded from its provisions:

  • close relatives of the employer, such as a spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, brother and sister;
  • apprentices within the meaning of the Industrial Training Act 1967 and Labour Services Act 1987, including an apprentice printer, bricklayer, mechanic, plumber, carpenter/joiner and electrician

What is the current National Minimum Wage?

The current National Minimum Wage (from 1st January 2017) for an experienced adult worker is €9.25.

What is meant by an "experienced adult worker"?

For the purposes of the Act, an experienced adult worker is an employee who is not:

  • under the age of 18 years, or
  • in the first two years after the date of first employment over age 18, or
  • a trainee undergoing a course that satisfies the conditions which are set out in S.I. No. 99 of 2000

What rates are payable to a person who is not an 'experienced adult worker'?

Different average hourly rates of pay apply to specific categories of person - please see our Wages and Methods of Payment page for full details.

I am paid on a 'salaried' basis, how can I check whether I am receiving the National Minimum Wage?

The gross reckonable pay earned by an employee in a pay reference period is divided by the employee's working hours in that pay reference period. The average hourly rate of pay obtained must not be less than the minimum hourly rate of pay entitlement of the employee as in the table on the Wages and Methods of Payment page.

What is meant by a 'pay reference period'?

Every employer must select a pay reference period for each employee. A pay reference period may be a week, a fortnight but can be no longer than a calendar month. An employer should carefully consider which pay reference period is selected for each individual employee. Factors influencing the selection will include whether an employee is paid on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis, whether the employee's earnings remain constant or fluctuate from week to week, and the requirement on an employer to provide an employee with a written statement, if requested by the employee, of the employee's average hourly rate of pay in a pay reference period or periods.

Subject to the Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994, new employees must be notified in writing of the pay reference period selected by their employer and other terms of employment within two months of taking up employment. A pay reference period must not be longer than one month.

The selection of a pay reference period for the purposes of this Act, does not affect the pay period of an employee. An employer could select a pay reference period of a month, while paying an employee on a weekly basis.

What is meant by 'reckonable pay'?

Some employees earn more than basic pay. For example if the employee does shift work, he/she may be paid a shift premium. Reckonable pay means those payments that are allowable in calculating the average hourly rate of pay of an employee in a specific pay reference period, in order to determine if the employee has been paid his/her minimum hourly rate of pay entitlement under the Act.

Items which are considered as reckonable pay could include -

  1. Basic pay
  2. Shift premium
  3. Piece and incentive rates, commission and bonuses which are productivity related
  4. The amount of any service charge distributed to the employee through the payroll
  5. Any payments under section 18 of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 (zero hour protection)
  6. Any payment in respect of any of the above items advanced in a previous pay reference period that relates to the specific pay reference period
  7. Any amount in respect of any of the above items earned in the specific pay reference period and paid no later than the next following pay reference period
  8. In the case of an employee whose hours of work are not controlled by the employer, any amount in respect of any of the above items earned in the specific pay reference period and paid no later than the pay reference period in which the record of working hours is received or due to be received by the employer, or the pay reference period immediately after that.

If an employee receives Board and Lodgings, Board only or Lodgings only from his/her employer, then the following amounts are also reckonable -

  • €54.13 for full board and lodgings per week, or €7.73 per day;
  • €32.14 for full board only per week, or €4.60 per day;.
  • €21.85 for lodgings only per week, or €3.14 per day.

What constitutes 'non-reckonable pay'?

Some pay components if earned by the employee in a specific pay reference period are non-reckonable. Such items may include -

  • Overtime premium
  • Call-out premium
  • Service pay
  • Unsocial hours premium
  • Any amount distributed to the employee of tips or gratuities paid into a central fund managed by the employer and paid through the payroll
  • Public holiday premium, Saturday premium and Sunday premium, where any such holidays or days are worked
  • Allowances for special or additional duties including those of a post of responsibility
  • Any payment of expenses incurred by the employee in carrying out his or her employment, including travel allowance, subsistence allowance, tool allowance and clothing allowance
  • On-call or standby allowance
  • Any payments for or in relation to a period of absence of the employee from the workplace, such as sick pay, holiday pay, payment for health and safety leave under the Maternity Protection Act, 1994 or pay in lieu of notice, but not including a payment made under section 18 of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 (zero hour protection)
  • Any payment by way of an allowance or gratuity in connection with the retirement or resignation of the employee or as compensation for loss of office
  • Pension contributions paid by the employer on behalf of the employee
  • Any payment referable to the employee's redundancy
  • Any advance of a payment referred to in Table 3 in the specific pay reference period relating to a subsequent pay reference period
  • Any payment-in-kind or benefit-in-kind, except board with lodgings, lodgings only or board only
  • Any payment to the employee otherwise than in his or her capacity as an employee
  • Any payment representing compensation for the employee, such as for injury or loss of tools and equipment
  • An amount of any award under a staff suggestion scheme
  • Any loan by the employer to the employee

An employer must not change a payment or benefit-in-kind listed as a non-reckonable pay component and classify it as a reckonable pay component for the purposes of the Act..

Are employees who are paid on the basis of output/productivity covered by the National Minimum Wage Act?

Yes. - An employer can pay an employee according to his/her output/productivity. The national minimum hourly rate of pay is expressed as an hourly rate of pay, not a piece or productivity rate. Therefore at the end of a pay reference period (which must not extend beyond one calendar month), an employer must ensure that such an employee's reckonable pay divided by the employee's hours of work is not less than the employee's statutory minimum hourly rate of pay entitlement under the Act.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Share this page

 
logo-sml
Links|About the Reform Programme|Accessibility|Privacy Policy|Disclaimer|Sitemap

Registered Address: Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, O'Brien Road, Carlow, R93 W7W2