People Before Profit have launched a new Bill to ensure equal rights for young workers, guaranteeing uniform pay for all earning the minimum wage. The Bill, the National Minimum Wage (Equal Pay for Young Workers) Bill 2021, removes discrimination against 16-20 year olds who do not earn the same rate of the minimum wage as those older than them.
The Bill would allow for all earning the minimum wage to receive 100% of this regardless of their age. Since 1 January 2021, the national minimum wage is €10.20 for people aged 20 and over, under 18 it’s €7.14 (70%), aged 18 it’s € 8.16 (80%), aged 19 it’s €9.18 (90%). Ireland also has the highest rate in Europe of those aged 18-29 earning the minimum wage at 41%.
Speaking on the launch of the Bill, People Before Profit’s representative for Clondalkin Darragh Adelaide, said: “As a young person I strongly believe that young workers should not be paid under the minimum wage. Many work from young ages to support themselves and sometimes their families and deserve fair pay for the work they do, regardless of age.”
People Before Profit TD for Dublin Mid-West Gino Kenny added: “A lot of young people in the area work in the retail and hospitality sector in places like Liffey Valley Shopping Centre. It is blatant discrimination that people who are under the age of 20 would be entitled to earn less that the minimum wage. It is ridiculous that this is the case. It assumes that people under the age of 20 receive a cut in their rent or living costs due to their age.
“What we need is to abandon this discrimination immediately, legislate for equal access to the full minimum wage regardless of age and pressure the government to instigate a living wage to €15 per hour so that people can have a fair return for the long hours that the work.” “The cost of living is continuously increasing and young people often face additional costs such as high car insurance rates and rents.”