Updated on 31 December 2020 to reflect changes coming into effect on 1 January 2021
The National Minimum Wage applies to most employees. It is the minimum hourly pay rate that must be paid. It applies to full-time, part-time, temporary and casual employees. However the following categories of employees are excluded:
- Employees who are close relatives of the employer, where the employer is a Sole Trader, such as a spouse, civil partner, parent, step-parent, grandparent, child, step-child, grandchild, sibling or half-sibling of the employer;
- A craft apprentice within the meaning of the Industrial Training Act, 1967, or the Labour of Services Act, 1987.
From 1 January 2021, the following rates apply:
% of NMW
18 years old
19 years old
National Minimum Wage (20+)
Since 4 March 2019, when the Employment Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2018 came into force, rates of pay for employees are based solely on age. Trainee rates were also abolished.
Minimum rates of pay for other sectors
What can be included as pay for the National Minimum Wage (reckonable components) *
The following can be included to make up the national minimum wage
- normal basic pay
- shift allowances or other similar payments
- any fee, bonus or commission
- Zero Hours payments
- Board & Lodgings
- Service charge given through the payroll
What can’t be included for the National Minimum Wage (non reckonable components) *
The following payments cannot be included to make up the national minimum wage rate:
- any payment of expenses incurred by the employee in carrying out his/her employment
- Premiums including overtime, public holiday, Saturday, Sunday, unsocial hours or call out
- Allowances for special duties including a post of responsibility, on call or standby
- Tips or gratuities paid into a central fund and paid through the payroll
- any payment to the employee not made for their role as an employee
- any payment in kind or benefit in kind.
- any sum payable to an employee in lieu of notice of termination of employment
*these are not full lists
Board & Lodgings
If board and/or lodgings i.e. meals and/ or a place to live, is part of the minimum wage then the following amounts can be included to make up the national minimum wage rate:
- Meals €0.91 per hour worked
- €24.10 for accommodation only per week or €3.45 per day
Average Hourly Rate of Pay
The average hourly rate of pay must not be less than the national minimum wage hourly rate
The average hourly rate of pay is calculated by dividing the gross reckonable pay by the numbers of hours worked in pay reference period.
Pay Reference Period
Every employer must select a pay reference period for each employee. It may be a week but no longer than one month. It must be included in the written statement of terms of employment given when an employee starts work. The reference period is used in calculating the average hourly rate of pay.
Statement of Average Hourly Rate of Pay
An employee can ask in writing for a statement of their average hourly rate of pay for any pay period within the last 12 months. The employer must give the statement in writing within four weeks of getting the request.
The statement should set out:
- Details of reckonable pay with each pay area listed separately
- The working hours of the employee
- The average hourly pay
- The minimum hourly rate of pay the employee is entitled to
The statement should be signed by the employer or on behalf of the employer. A copy of the statement should be kept by the employer for 15 months.
Victimisation of Employee
An employer must not do anything that will victimise an employee because of their legal right to pay in line with the national minimum wage rates.
An employer must keep records to show that employees have received their national minimum wage. The records must be kept for three years.