Following the announcement on Wednesday of the intention of the Government to introduce a Living Wage over a 4–5 year period, (See Insert) the Association has written to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD., Minister of State for Retail Damien English TD and the chairperson of The Low Pay Commission seeking clarity on certain aspects of the proposal.
The Terms of Reference had specifically sought for an understanding of the potential distortion that the wages paid to employees of multinational corporations had on the median hourly wage rate. As it is the stated intention of Mr. Varadkar to set a Living Wage at 60% of the median hourly wage rate, it is crucial for employers to be comfortable with the calculations and methodology used to consider the median wage rate.
At this point, no such calculation exists – the data is not collected in a manner that could be accepted as ‘evidence’. We understand the desire of the media to report the most basic of headlines but any suggestion that a rate of €12.17 per hour will be set initially is without merit and fanciful.
The Living Wage will most likely replace the National Minimum Wage, it may be set as a percentage of a National Median hourly rate but none of this can take place until both the Oireachtas, CSO and employer representative bodies are fully engaged.