Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (231)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

231. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the estimated cost of implementing a living wage €12.30 for all employees directly employed and or in agencies under his remit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30776/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

As the Deputy is aware, the National Minimum Wage is a statutory entitlement and has a legislative basis. The Low Pay Commission annually assesses the appropriate level of the National Minimum Wage. The current national minimum hourly rate of pay, since 1 January 2019, is €9.80 per hour, as set out in the National Minimum Wage Order 2018.  The Living Wage has no legislative basis and is therefore not a statutory entitlement.

The suggested wage at €12.30 per hour based on the Civil Service 37 hour standard net working week equates to an annual salary of €23,747. Public servants currently on an annual salary of less than €23,747 may be receiving remuneration in excess of the suggested living wage through additional premium payments in respect of shift or atypical working hours or are on salary scales that progress to the suggested living wage and above through incremental progression.  

It should also be noted that in the context of the Living Wage, pay increases under the Public Services Stability Agreement 2018-2020 include: 1% in October 2018; 1% for those earning under €30,000 in January 2019; 1.75% in September 2019; and 2% in October 2020. Those increases have increased and will continue to increase earnings for all public servants over the term of the Public Service Stability Agreement.

In respect of my own Department, I can confirm that the cost of implementing the Living Wage solely to staff within my core Department would be €74,064.05.

In line with Standing Order 42A, my Department will forward additional material to the Deputy regarding costs in respect of bodies under the aegis of my Department.