Minimum wage set to be raised to €9.80

It would be an increase of 25 cents per hour compared to the current rate

Minimum wage set to be raised to €9.80

Picture by: Arne Dedert/DPA/PA Images

Updated 21:25

The minimum wage is set to be raised to €9.80 an hour.

The recommendation comes from the Low Pay Commission, whose members reached a 'unanimous decision' on the proposal.

The Government has agreed in principle to the increase, meaning it would come into effect in January.

Currently, the minimum wage for adult workers is €9.55, so the proposed increase would see workers receiving an additional €0.25 an hour.

Workers under a 39-hours contract would see their weekly gross pay increase by €9.75 a week.

The commission found that Ireland will reach 'close to full employment' next year, and that previous minimum wage increases had little impact on employment.

It also says that economic growth has started spread to all parts of the country, not just Dublin.

Low Pay Commission chairman Dr Donal de Buitléir said: “I was particularly pleased for this fourth report of the Commission that there was a full consensus amongst the members on our recommendations, and that the rate for the National Minimum Wage was unanimously recommended. 

"This year too, we had a strong engagement through our consultation process with individuals working minimum wage jobs, as well as representative groups, and I thank all those who generously gave of their time and contributed to the process.” 

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), meanwhile, said the proposal would 'marginally' narrow the gap between the minimum wage and the living wage.

The living wage - which is considered to be the amount needed for a full-time worker to afford a 'socially acceptable standard of living' - is calculated to be around €11.90.

ICTU's Liam Berney said: “Should this increase come into effect after Budget 2019, the National Minimum Wage will still be €0.70 lower than the €10.50 per hour committed to the 2016 Programme for Government.

"If this commitment is to be fulfilled before the Government is required to go to the polls in 2021, this would translate into an average annual increase of €0.35 over the next two years.”

However, the Small Firms Association has urged the Government to not increase the minimum wage, claiming that "costs for small businesses are already shooting up".