A living wage could be introduced by 2025 under plans being launched by the Government today.
The Low Pay Commission has formally begun work to replace the minimum wage with one based on the cost of living.
The Tánaiste and Minister for Business Leo Varadkar has published the terms of reference for the commission to examine introducing it in the lifetime of this government, which he hopes will run to 2025.
The Living Wage is being defined as the minimum income needed for a single, childless, full-time worker to meet their basic needs and afford an acceptable standard of living.
It's been estimated to be €12.30 an hour by the Living Wage Technical Group, a body which has advocated for the move since 2014.
The Low Pay Commission will examine what the state rate should be set at, taking into account median wages, the distorting effect on the economy of multinational investment and the cost of living.
It will also be asked to consider whether there should be a different, higher rate for those living in Dublin and whether age should play a factor in setting rates.
The impact of the increased wages will be looked at – including whether supplementary social welfare rates should be lowered if a living wage reduces worker poverty.
The Commission will be asked to recommend how long it should take a wage to be phased in, what the impact would be on employers and whether pay rises could be slowed during recessions to keep businesses afloat.
It is expected to report in the second half of this year.