Calls for workers under 20 to be eligible for minimum wageMike Finnerty 17 Aug 2023
There have been calls for workers under the age of 20 to be eligible to receive a minimum wage.
Chairperson of Labour Youth, Lhamo Fitzsimons, said workers under 20 could be paid as low as €7.91 and too many employers are exploiting young people as cheap labour.
Fitzsimons said “it is hard to believe that in the 21st century, in 2023, and at a time in which costs have been rising in all areas from food, clothes, utilities, to basic goods, and unaffordable rents, that at this very moment there are workers in Ireland still not entitled to receive minimum wage.”
“Young workers aged under 20 may be paid as low as €7.91. Despite being legal adults, those aged 17-19 are only entitled to 80% of minimum wage at €9.04,” he noted.
“The result is clear exploitation. These are teens and adults who may be working full or part-time, to pay for to access education, to save, or to support themselves or their families. There is a fundamental equality issue here.”
There have been calls in recent weeks to increase the minimum wage to €12.70 to adjust for inflation.
“Young workers’ rights are too often exploited by some employers. Young workers are used and abused by employers. They tend to work extreme and anti-social hours, with little to no breaks, and under the constant threat of being fired, often bullied in the workplace. These attitudes and behaviours of some employers are reinforced by the current system of sub-minimum rates of pay.”
“It’s existence is a stain upon our State. Simply put, sub-minimum rates of pay are not acceptable nor do they serve a purpose other than to exploit those who do not have the resources, power or confidence to have their voices heard.”
“Workers performing the exact same work and hours should not be treated differently based on their age,” he said.