July 5, 2021
Sinn Féin reintroduce bill to abolish sub-minimum rates of pay – Senator Paul Gavan

Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has today reintroduced a bill which would put an end to sub-minimum rates of pay, which see young workers exploited by businesses. 

These rates of pay are currently being abused by some employers as a mechanism through which a worker – typically a young person – in their first or second year of employment can be paid as little as 80% of the National Minimum Wage. 

Senator Gavan said: 

“This issue continues to affect young people three years after I first introduced this bill and the government continues to do nothing as sub-minimum rates of pay remain in place and constitute discrimination. 

“These rates are exploitative of young workers and the state should recognise the principle of Equal Pay for Equal Work. 

“We have workers in their twenties being paid 80% of the National Minimum Wage simply because it is their first or second year in employment. These workers are doing the same work – they should get the same pay. 

“This is just another way for businesses to take advantage of cheap labour and due to their nature, these rates of pay can exclusively target younger workers.

“They have been abolished in Germany, Spain, Korea, Canada and in Belgium. 

“It is about time we did the same in this state. These rates of pay have been negotiated and totally removed from all collective agreements in Ireland’s retail sector. 

“The concept of sub-minimum rates of pay is outdated and punitive.” 

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