Monday 20 January 2020

'I have employees who would like to live around the city, but prices are ridiculous'

Business owner Declan Gray. Photo: Darragh McSweeney
Business owner Declan Gray. Photo: Darragh McSweeney

Colm Kelpie

Business owner Declan Gray says he is likely to increase wages for his staff this year, with the rising cost of accommodation in Dublin partly a factor.

Mr Gray said his staff were feeling the pressure from rising rents in particular, while a small number would like to buy but cannot afford a deposit.

He runs Evolve Design, an online design company based in the centre of Dublin, employing 12 staff.

"About three-quarters of my staff don't have their own house and they're renting," Mr Gray said.

"Of that, about a third of those are in the position where they would like to buy a house but are stuck.

"The deposit is too great. For the staff who are renting, they have to move out further and further all the time. I have staff who are commuting from rented accommodation in Skerries and Howth. It's a case of they would like to be in around the city, as the average age is around 30. But the price is getting ridiculous.

"For us, our fear now is that whilst the business is doing well and growing out of the recession, there will be pressure from the guys for more wages. And that's to facilitate them getting closer to the city centre."

Mr Gray said his company had spent a lot of time and effort on staff training and development, but he feared that the high cost of living could force his employees to leave Dublin and seek work elsewhere.

Mr Gray said he can "definitely see" that he will have to look at giving a wage increase this year.

He said Evolve's office was in the city centre to make for an easier commute for staff, but a more central location costs more money.

"We have a 10-year lease, but a break after five. That's coming up next year. But it has an effect as to where we move because we need to stay near a train line or bus route to facilitate the staff," he added.

Irish Independent

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