Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Ceisteanna (78)

Ciarán Cuffe

Ceist:

148 Mr. Cuffe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number and level of sanctions which have been applied to companies which have been found to be in breach of the minimum wage regulations; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3814/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Enterprise)

Since the introduction of the national minimum wage in April 2000, labour inspectors from my Department have undertaken inspections under the National Minimum Wage Act 2000, with reported compliance and sanctions levels as set out in the following table.

Inspectors operate on the basis of achieving compliance. Where an inspection leads to a detection of infringements the employer is required to rectify the infringements detected. Failure to do so to the satisfaction of the labour inspectorate within a specified period results in the initiation of legal proceedings.

I am pleased to note that the figures indicate infringements detected to date have been minor and have been rectified following the intervention of the inspectorate.

Deputies should be aware that rights commissioners of the Labour Relations Commission, a body independent of my Department, also investigate complaints of breaches of the National Minimum Wage Act 2000.

Deputies should also be aware that there are some 19 employment regulation orders drawn up through the joint labour committee system that regulates statutory minimum rates of pay and conditions of employment for workers employed in the various sectors where these apply.

Year

No. of Inspections

Sanction Applied

2000

3,419

None

2001

1,192

1 Conviction for failure to keep records

2002

1,731

3 Convictions 1 — obstructing Inspector 2 — failure to pay NMW (arrears paid in both cases)

2003

950

None