I propose to take Questions Nos. 515 and 527 together.
The National Minimum Wage Act 2000 is a policy matter for the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), an independent statutory office under the aegis of my Department, is responsible for the enforcement of, inter alia, compliance with minimum rates of remuneration in workplaces.
Except for the employment of close relatives and registered industrial apprentices, the National Minimum Wage Act applies to all individuals engaged under a contract of employment. Failure to pay the national minimum hourly rate of pay is a criminal offence, punishable upon summary conviction, by a fine not exceeding €2,500 or imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or both.
An individual who considers that they are not being paid in accordance with the National Minimum Wage Act 2000 may refer the matter to a WRC inspector for investigation. Inspectors are authorised to inspect records and to ensure compliance by employers with the provisions of the National Minimum Wage Act 2000.
Separately, an employee not in receipt of the national minimum hourly rate of pay may also refer a complaint for investigation to a WRC Adjudication Officer. The complaint form for referral of a complaint is available on the WRC website www.workplacerelations.ie .
Further information for both employers and employees is available from the WRC Information and Customer Services telephone service (Tel 1890 80 80 90) open 9.30 am to 05.00 pm - Monday to Friday.