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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: National Minimum Wage

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Did you just get your first job or have you recently returned to the workforce? You may also have recently arrived in Ireland and not know what to expect with regard to rates of payment.

Sometimes people can be slow to question employers about payment rates especially younger people and students, who in the current climate are experiencing more and more difficulty in finding summer jobs and part-time work.

When you start a job the amount you will be paid is generally agreed between you and your employer says Declan Canty, Information Officer with South Munster CIS who is based in Kerry.

“So it is important to be aware that most employees are entitled to the National Minimum Wage. Your wages are the amount of pay you receive before any money has been deducted from it such as Tax, PRSI, USC etc.”

What is the Minimum Wage?

Since the 1st of January 2022 the National Minimum wage is €10.50 per hour. This is the rate which should be paid to most employees over the age of 20 years. For younger age groups there are what are called sub-minimum rates, calculated as a percentage of the full rate. Those aged 19 years receive 90% or €9.45 per hour. For an 18-year-old this reduces to 80% or €8.40 per hour, and those aged under 18 receive 70% of the minimum rate which works out at €7.35 per hour. It is important to remember the Minimum Wage does not prevent your employer from paying you a higher rate. A minimum wage exists in Ireland since the introduction of the National Minimum Wage Act 2000 when it was just €5.58 per hour. Over the years it has been adjusted on 10 occasions and it applies to full-time, part-time, temporary and casual workers as well as seasonal employees.

How do I know if I am getting the Minimum Wage?

The method for calculation is to divide your Gross Pay by the total number of hours you have worked. Your working hours will be set out in your contract of employment or a Statement of the Terms of your employment. When doing this calculation you should not include any premium for working overtime or for working on Saturdays or Sundays and Public Holidays. Declan advises that if you have any difficulty with this you can ask your employer for a written statement of your average rate of pay for any pay reference period within the last 12 months. The pay reference period is the time that the hours are worked over such as weekly fortnightly or monthly.

What should I do if I am not getting the Minimum Wage?

You can begin by discussing this with your employer. It is important to note however that there are different rates for certain sectors such as Cleaning and Security. Other workers not entitled to the Minimum Wage include those employed by close relatives such as a parent or a spouse, along with statutory apprenticeships. If your employer says that they cannot afford to pay you the Minimum Wage due to financial difficulty the Labour Court may exempt them from paying it for anything from three months to one year. The employer must apply to the Labour Court for the exemption and they must have the consent of the majority of their employees. Only one exemption can be allowed and it will only be granted for the full rate of the National Minimum Wage.

As you may find it difficult to raise this issue with your employer Declan Canty from SMCIS said that it is important to be aware that you cannot be victimised in any way by asking to be paid the National Minimum Wages which you are entitled to. If you are dismissed for asking your employer for the Minimum Wage you are entitled to make a claim for unfair dismissal regardless of the length of time you have worked for your employer or the number of hours you have worked.

How to make a complaint:

If you are not getting the Minimum Wage you should first speak to your employer to see if the issue can be resolved. If you are unable to reach an agreement with your employer your next option available is to complete the online complaint form on the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) website. This form will give you two options from which you are only permitted to select one.

1. You can request an investigation by an inspector from the Workplace Relations Commission. The inspector will look into your claim that the National Minimum Wage is not being paid, or

2. You can refer a dispute to a WRC adjudicator. You can only do this after asking your employer for a statement outlining the calculation of the average hourly pay and you must refer the dispute within six months of receiving the statement.

If you need further information about any of the issues raised here or you have other questions, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information Service in Kerry on 0818 07 7860. They will be happy to assist you and if necessary arrange an appointment for you.

Kerry HELPLINE 0818 07 7860

Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively you can email on tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie.

The National Phone Service is available on 0818 07 4000 Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm.

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Credit Union launch a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd.

Building on recent success the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick have launched a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd. Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd specialise in Photovoltaic (PV) […]

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Building on recent success the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick have launched a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd.

Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd specialise in Photovoltaic (PV) Solar systems that generate electricity, battery storage, air to water heat-pumps and much more.
Gilroy’s work with customers to receive the SEAI once-off grant towards the purchase and installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and heat pumps for your home.
Collaborating with Kerry and West Limerick Credit Union expands the finance options available to Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd customers to help finance new PV Solar Panel installations. Loan rates will be directly linked to the property BER starting from 4.7%(4.89APR) for an “A” rated BER.
Martin Gilroy; CEO with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd said: “We are delighted to officially launch this collaboration with the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick. Customers have already reaped the benefits on recent installation projects after contacting their local Credit Union. Having a direct link to local Credit Unions allows us to guide customers to affordable financing options based on the specific installation quotation we provide at very competitive rates.“
Speaking on behalf of the Kerry and West Limerick Credit Unions, Ashley Fitzgerald added: “We are delighted to have Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd come on board as part of our Greener Homes Loan offering. Home Energy Upgrade have become a prominent concern and talking point among members in recent months, by Credit Unions having a direct link with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd allows both sides to make referrals and seek the best finance option for members. We are working hard building relationships with Green Energy Ltd providers as we want to ensure our members can avail of the best loan rates for all upgrade works.”
Credit Unions across Kerry and West Limerick. Abbeyfeale Credit Union, Cara Credit Union, Killarney Credit Union, Listowel Credit Union and Rathmore and District Credit Union can be reached via: www.creditunion.ie
Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd can be contacted on 066-7115920, email info@gilroys.ie or for more information visit www.gilroys.ie.

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Racegoers Club to host Cheltenham Preview Night

Killarney Racegoers Club will host its annual Cheltenham Preview Night in Corkery’s Bar on March 7. Admission is free and this year’s chosen beneficiary is the Killarney Branch of St […]

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Killarney Racegoers Club will host its annual Cheltenham Preview Night in Corkery’s Bar on March 7.

Admission is free and this year’s chosen beneficiary is the Killarney Branch of St Vincent De Paul Society.
The expert panel includes professional punter Paddy Wilmott, leading jockey Conor McNamara, up-and-coming Kerry-based trainer Eoin McCarthy and local bookmaker Brendan Tyther with Vince Casey acting as the event’s compere.

“There is no admission fee but a raffle on the night for dual membership of Killarney Racegoers Club for the year, which includes 13 days racing and many reciprocal days to other race meetings,” said Mr Casey.

The Cheltenham Festival begins on March 12.

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