The Sectoral Employment Order (Construction Sector) 2019 came into effect on 1 October 2019. This sets the statutory minimum rates of pay and other conditions (sick pay and pension entitlements) for persons employed in the construction sector.
Who is covered by the SEO
There are 2 criteria which decide who is covered:
- The employer must operate in the construction sector, and
- It applies to employees who work in the sector and it defines their roles into specific classes; apprentices, new entrant operatives, construction operative or craft person.
The SEO defines what activities place an employer within the construction sector and what experience and qualifications place a worker in a particular employee class.
How workers are classified
Apprentices are workers who are registered as apprentices in accordance with the Industrial Training Act, 1967
New entrant operatives are over the age of 18 and entering the sector for the first time, they remain in this class for two year after starting employment.
Skilled General Operatives who have worked in the sector for more than 2 years are classed as a Category B Worker
Skilled General Operatives who have worked in the sector for 4 years and hold an Advanced Scaffolding Card, Banks operatives, Steel Fixers; Crane Drivers and Heavy Machine Operators are Category A Workers
Craftspersons are qualified trade persons, such as: Bricklayers/Stone Layers; Carpenters and Joiners; Floor Layers; Glaziers; Painters; Plasterers; Stone Cutters; Wood Machinists; Slaters and Tilers.
Construction workers pay
Basic hourly rates of pay - 1st October 2019 to 30th September 2020
Rate of Pay
class of worker
€19.44 per hour
Bricklayers/Stone Layers; Carpenters and Joiners; Floor Layers; Glaziers; Painters; Plasterers; Stone Cutters; Wood Machinists; Slaters and Tilers.
Category A Worker
€18.86 per hour
Scaffolders who hold an Advanced Scaffolding Card and who have four years’ experience; Banks operatives, Steel Fixers; Crane Drivers and Heavy Machine Operators.
Category B Worker
€17.50 per hour
Skilled General Operatives who have worked in the sector for more than 2 years.
New Entrant Operative Workers
€14.14 per hour
To apply for 2 years to new entrant operative workers over the age of 18 years and entering the sector for the first time.
The SEO sets the minimum hourly rates for workers but this does not prevent an employer paying a higher rate of pay that defined in the SEO.
Apprentice Pay Rates
33.3% of Craft rate
50% of Craft rate
75% of Craft rate
90% of Craft rate
Monday to Friday from normal finishing time to midnight
time plus a half
Monday – Friday from midnight to normal starting time
Saturday (1) First four hours from normal starting time
(2) All subsequent hours till midnight
time plus a half
Sunday - all hours worked
Public Holiday - all hours worked
double time plus
an additional day’s leave
Normal Working Time
The normal Working week is 39 hours worked over five days between Monday and Friday each week.
Daily working hours
Monday - Thursday
Normal Start Time
Normal Finish Time
Daily working hours worked between normal start and finish times
8 consecutive hours
7 consecutive hours
Every employer covered by this SEO shall be part of a pension scheme which is in line with the scheme as outlined in the order.
- Entry at age 18
- Facility for payment of a daily contribution rate @ 1/5th of the weekly rate (as specified in the scheme)
Total Pension contribution
Death in service contribution
Total death in service contribution
Contribution rates will increase in line with wage inflation in the sector after 1st October 2019
Every employer employing workers to whom the Order applies must have in place a provision for Sick Pay benefits for each employee covered in the Order which is in line with the Construction Industry Sick pay scheme. Contributions are payable by both employers and employees.
It must provide for the following benefits:
- Payment of a standard Sick pay benefit for a specified duration
- May include a waiting period
- Facilitate provision of a supplementary sick pay benefit if the claimant has no entitlement to social welfare benefit due to inadequate number of social welfare contributions.
- The maximum duration under an SEO Sick Pay Scheme should not be any lower than a period of 10 weeks in any calendar year, whether for a single claim or in aggregate in a scheme year
This list is not exhaustive. Full details are contained in the order.
Where a dispute arises it should be notified to the employer in writing. If the issue is not resolved individuals can take a case for adjudication to the Workplace Relations Commission and group or collective disputes can be taken to the Conciliation Service of the WRC.
This page gives a summary of the details contained in S.I. No. 234 of 2019 SECTORAL EMPLOYMENT ORDER (CONSTRUCTION SECTOR) 2019 and is not a legal interpretation.