Legislation in relation to the setting of the National Minimum Wage is a policy matter for my colleague Minister Regina Doherty T.D. at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
In so far as my own Department is concerned, Section 41 of the National Minimum Wage Act 2000 provides that the Labour Court may exempt an employer from the obligation to pay an employee the National Minimum Wage in specific circumstances. The Labour Court is an independent statutory body under the aegis of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
The legislation stipulates that before granting such an exemption the Labour Court must be satisfied that the employer’s inability to pay, is to the extent that, if the employer were compelled to pay, the employee would be likely to be laid-off employment with the employer, or the employee's employment would be likely to be terminated.
I understand that no inability to pay claim has been submitted by an employer to the Labour Court under Section 41 of the National Minimum Wage Act 2000 in the period 2014 to date in 2019.