Mandate supports legislation to end age discrimination in National Minimum Wage

Thursday 8 June 2023

Mandate Trade Union has rolled in behind legislation tabled by People Before Profit/Solidarity which seeks to give young workers access to the full minimum wage instead of a reduced rate.

Since 1 January 2023, the national minimum wage is €11.30 for people aged 20 and over. However, for workers under 18 it’s €7.91 (70%), aged 18 it’s € 9.04 (80%) and aged 19 it’s €10.17 (90%).

Chair of Mandate Trade Union Youth Committee Siúirtán Ó Priongalóid said this is blatant age discrimination:

“Mandates Youth Committee are in full support of this bill which will finally bring the end to young workers being paid subminimum rate for equal work. The Mandate Youth Committee call on all political entities to support this bill and urge our members and the young people of Ireland to lobby their own local TD’s to ensure this important legislative change takes place,” said Ó Priongalóid.

“Young workers have high costs of living like everyone else. However, your landlord is not going to accept 70% of the rent simply because you’re 18 years of age, so why should workers accept 70% of the wage because they’re young?” he added.

Mandate Youth argue that the National Minimum Wage is the bare minimum a worker needs to get by in one of the most expensive countries in the developed world.

“A number of months ago the current Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, announced a move towards a national living wage. A “living wage” and what you need to earn to put a roof over your head and food on your table is not influenced by age rates. Therefore, the government must support this bill which is a small step towards a living wage, or it will expose empty words and cheap headlines on their behalf,” concluded Ó Priongalóid.