Written Answers. - National Minimum Wage.

Pat Rabbitte

Question:

38 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the procedures she has put in place to monitor the operation of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000; if her attention has been drawn to reports that FÁS is continuing to advertise jobs at a rate below the new legal minimum level; the action she will take in this regard and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11931/00]

The National Minimum Wage Act, 2000, became law on 1 April and is estimated to benefit 160,000 employees. My Department has been engaged in a publicity and information campaign on the Act to inform employees of their entitlements and employers of their obligations.

I will shortly be establishing a tripartite monitoring group, comprising representatives of my Department, IBEC and ICTU, to monitor the operation of the National Minimum Wage Act. I would anticipate that the group would, in the immediate future, be examining issues such as the compliance with, and enforcement of, the provisions of the Act, and in the longer term would review, as it considers appropriate, such issues as the impact of the legislation and the effectiveness of certain provisions.

In the immediate aftermath of the introduction of the Act, some job vacancy advertisements at rates of pay lower than permitted under the Act may inadvertently have remained on display at FÁS offices.

I am informed that FÁS will not accept for display or advertise any employment vacancy at a rate of pay that is not in conformity with the provisions of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000. Where an employer is not prepared to give a pay rate, or insists on "pay rate negotiable", FÁS staff will inform employers that FÁS will display the notice with a statement that the rate of pay is subject to the provisions of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000.