The minimum wage is going up in January 2021

The Minimum Wage in the Republic of Ireland is going up on 1 January 2021 - as announced here.

What does this mean

The minimum adult hourly rate is increasing by 10c to €10.20 per hour.  It applies to  everyone who is age 18 or more, except apprentices, family members of employers, and people who work for companies that have a Labour Court exemption..
  • For people aged 19 the minimum hourly rate is 90% of the adult rate, so it becomes €9.18 per hour.
  • People aged 18  is 80% of the adult rate, so it becomes €8.16 per hour.
  • People aged less than 18:  for them, the minimum hourly rate is 70% of the adult rate, so it becomes €7.14 per hour.

This hourly rate is before tax, and it does not include tips, extra that you get for working overtime or at unusual times, pension contributions - if any of these apply, they must be paid on top of the minimum wage.   For example, if you are age 21 work for three hours, and your share of tips from the day is $20, then you must be paid at least  ( 3 x 10.20 ) + 20  = 30.60 + 20,   ie  $50.60

Do you have to be paid the minimum wage?

The law says that you must be paid at least the minimum wage, based on your age.

Employers can choose to pay you more than this, and  many employers do pay more than the minimum wage.

Minimum wage vs Living Wage

There are been recent news items about introducing a Living Wage in Ireland, with suggestions that the minimum wage should increase to $12.30 per hour.  

Recently the Taoiseach (Ireland's Prime Minister or top government leader) said that the government would "examine the introduction of a statutory living wage".  This means that they will think about it, but they have not made any promises yet.   

Some of the things to think about include how many hours people work for:  the Living Wage is calculated based on what it costs an adult to live in Ireland in a certain way, and assumes that you work for 39 hours per week.   But some employees choose to work less than full-time hours, and some jobs are never going to be full time.

Will everyone else's wages also increase?

Increases to the minimum wage doesn't apply to people who are already paid more - unless they have a contract which says  so, for example "Your hourly pay rate is the minimum wage plus 50c".

Sometimes other low-wage jobs do have wage increases at the same time  as the minimum wage increases, so they are still attractive to people who are looking for work.   However the Covid-19 crisis means this is less likely in 2021.

What to do if you are being paid less than the minimum wage

See what to do if you aren't being treated the right way at work for some suggestions.


As always, this isn't legal advice.  Consult a lawyer if you need advice about a specific situation.

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