The National Minimum Wage Act, 2000, became law on 1 April 2000 and was estimated to benefit some 163,000 employees. The Act applies, as with earlier employment rights legislation, to persons who have employee status. The only employees who are excluded from the provisions of the Act are close relatives of the employer, and statutory apprentices within the meaning of the Industrial Training Act, 1967, and the Labour Services Act, 1987.
Under the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000, an employee is defined as a person who works under a contract of employment. The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, when debating the legislation in the Oireachtas, pointed out that the legislation conferred on an employee an entitlement to a minimum hourly rate of pay and an obligation on the employer of the employee to pay at least the minimum hourly rate of pay.
The National Minimum Wage Act would only apply to participants on the student summer jobs scheme if such participants have employee status.