Farm Ireland

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Reforms set to bring minimum wage down

Reform of the agreements governing the minimum wage in agriculture could see the rate come down from its current level of €9.33/hr over the coming months.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, announced last week that he expected his reforms of the wage settling mechanisms to come into force during the next Dail term.

Part of the aim of the reform was to make the system more competitive and flexible so as to increase job-creation.

In setting future rates, Joint Labour Committees (JLCs) will take into account factors such as unemployment rates, competitiveness and wage trends here and in our major trading partners.

Record-keeping requirements for employers will also be reduced.

The IFA welcomed the announcement following their calls for a review of the minimum agricultural wage.

Eddie Punch, the general secretary of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association, said that the JLC system was completely outdated and anti-competitive.

"What is the point in a whole bureaucracy to set a minimum agricultural wage of €9.33/hr now that we have a national minimum wage of €8.65, which is much higher than the UK rate?" he questioned.

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Darragh McCullough

Indo Farming