Reminder: HAVE YOUR SAY-27th July Final Day For Public Consultation Observations On Department Of Enterprise “Living Wage”

All members need to be concerned at the proposal by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD to introduce a nationwide mandatory Living Wage.

The Department has produced a Strawman Proposal (an Explanatory Note), (See Here) and a Consultation document. (See Here)

YOUR voice and YOUR views are important and need to be aired.

Please download the documents and let the Department know that these suggestions, if they are not accompanied by additional rebates and allowances, will cause your business catastrophic harm.

It is the Government, not employers, that is responsible for the cost of living; we cannot be expected to factor into our business decisions matters over which we have no ability to change.

When rents, fuel , energy, insurance, taxes, and transportation costs rise, how can it be considered appropriate that a law should be enacted to force an employer to increase the pay of their workforce?

The proposal is to initially fix the Living Wage at 60% of the median hourly wage. A median is the halfway point of something, 50% earn more, 50% earn less.

It Includes all employees paid by the public purse, including those working for Semi-State bodies. CSO figures show that the median earnings for the public sector is 26.4% higher than the private sector.  The median wage also includes the tens of thousands of people that are employed by large Multinational companies, the inclusion ensuring that the median annual earnings, the figure that will be used by the Department to calculate the hourly rate upon which the Living Wage will be fixed, will be significantly skewed upwards.

The median wage is reported by CSO; they also show that it is not the wage obtained by those in the 15-29 age categories, yet if this proposal is adopted, it will become the template that the under skilled and those in need of constant monitoring will have a rate set that pays no attention to their lack of capability. We operate in a society where effort and attainment is rewarded , the progression on an earnings ladder is seen as a mark of those achievements, setting a Living Wage on a rate that has been achieved by people with decades of hard graft is illogical- why not limit the setting of a rate against comparable median rates for all 15-20- and 21–25-year-olds?

The median rate is not evenly achieved across Ireland, in fact, according to CSO, the only one of the five economic regions that pays above the median is the Dublin Region. This means that employers outside of Dublin will need to dig deeper than their Dublin based compatriots.

Another differential worth considering when making your submission is the fact, attested to in the CSO Median Annual Earnings reports that the median is not attained in any of the categories that are designated by both Irish and EU definitions as SME’s in terms of the number of employees they employ in their businesses.

Once again, we can see that your business is affected by the unfair application of a rate that includes MNC’s and those in the public sector, is based upon the salaries of those that have worked hard to achieve it, is not reflecting the regional differences and fails to address the disproportionate effect this proposal will have on SME’s.

We urge you to make your submission and ask other employers ( not necessarily limited to our retail businesses) to do similarly. Please ask your wholesaler to instruct their HR and PR people to agitate for changes to this very important proposal.