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