Some Irish workers can look forward to a slight increase in their hourly pay as Ireland’s living wage has increased by 20 cents.
Workers will now be paid at least €11.90 an hour so they can enjoy a decent standard of living.
It is understood that the boost is down to Ireland’s housing crisis. People are struggling more than ever to afford housing in Ireland, which means the price of living has increased.
The news was confirmed by the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice: “Rising rents push Living Wage to €11.90 per hour in 2018, a €0.20 increase from 2017. The #LivingWage represents the minimum average gross salary of a single full-time worker without dependents, needs to afford an acceptable minimum standard of living.”
There has been a drop in the cost of health insurance, transport and food in 2018, but the growing rent prices are swallowing up nearly half of the average person’s wages.
Dr Bernadette McMahon of the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice stated: “We try and reflect a figure which actually reflects the cost of living and what people have to spend for a reasonable standard of living.”
Employers do not have to pay their workers the living wage, but many companies support the idea.
There is no plan to increase the minimum wage yet. The minimum wage currently stands at €9.55 in Ireland.
A new report by the Economic and Social Research Institute has once again highlighted the gender pay gap that exists in the Irish workforce.
According to figures, which were published this morning, women are twice as likely to earn minimum wage with 6.9 per cent of female employees earning under €10 an hour.
This is compared to just 2.9 per cent of male employees.
The report suggest that this is due to the fact that women are more likely to work part-time jobs or seek employment in smaller firms in sectors such as accommodation and food.
“Jobs with these characteristics raise the likelihood of minimum wage employment,” the report said.
The research also found that 13.9 per cent of people aged 18-29 and 9 per cent of non-nationals earned the minimum wage.
The minimum wage in Ireland currently stands at €9.25 an hour, though there have been calls to increase that to a 'living wage' of €11.50 an hour.
Ireland’s minimum wage is set to go up by 30 cent from the start of next year.
As of January 2018, minimum wage will be €9.55 an hour.
It means an extra €12.00 in the pockets of those in full time employment per week.
More than 120,000 workers are set to benefit from the increase.
'While modest, the Low Pay Commission’s recommendation to increase the rate by 30 cent an hour to €9.55 is a welcome but very small step in the right direction,' Labour spokesperson on Worker’s Rights Senator Ged Nash told The Sun.
'Frankly, this government has a lot to be modest about when it comes to delivering on its own promise that work should pay.'
'With a miserly 10 cent increase last year and a modest 30 cent recommended for next year, the Fine Gael-Independent Alliance government is making extremely heavy weather of their pledge to hike the minimum wage rate to €10.50 per hour.'
According to recently released figures from the Central Statistics Office, one in ten adults in this country are earning the minimum wage or less.
Further to this, it has been established that 38 per cent of minimum-wage workers are aged between 18 and 24, with more women than men earning minimum wage.
As of January 2017, the minimum wage was increased to €9.25 per hour – an increase which was introduced incrementally over two years – and of the 155,100 people who earn that figure or less, 54.4 per cent were women.
According to the figures, 22,500 employees reported that their earnings as being less than the minimum wage while 132,600 reported earning the exact figure.
The findings established that those earning low wages worked in the services industry, with four in five employees reporting as such.
The research also concluded that three in five workers on the minimum wage or less worked part-time.