New report blasts law which allows young Irish workers to be paid less than older workers doing exact same job
The bill to put an end to unfair payment issues was introduced over the weekend.
Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has introduced a bill which would put an end to sub-minimum rates of pay – a loophole through which young workers are exploited by businesses.
Sub-minimum rates of pay are currently being abused by some employers as a mechanism through which a worker in their first or second year of employment, usually a young person, can be paid as little as 80% of the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
Senator Gavan said (via the Sinn Fein website):
"The reality is that sub-minimum rates of pay constitute discrimination. They are exploitative of young workers and the Irish State should recognise the principle of Equal Pay for Equal Work. We have workers in their 20’s being paid 80% of the National Minimum Wage simply because it’s their first or second year in employment.
"I don’t see these same workers receiving a 20% reduction in the cost of their rent or living expenses. They are doing the same work; they should get the same pay. This is just another way for businesses to take advantage of cheap labour."
Youth Work Ireland, who have members that work with over 110,000 young workers around Ireland, were very happy to see that this new bill highlights the presidency in payment for younger workers than their older colleauges:
Michael Mc Loughlin of Youth Work Ireland stated (via their website):
"It is wholly unacceptable that young people are paid less for precisely the same work as older people who they could even be working alongside in the same workplace. This discrimination is based on outmoded and outdated Victorian ideas. It is predicated on the notion that young people have less responsibilities than others and this is far from clear.
"Such an assumption intrudes in to young people’s personal lives and is not acceptable in the tax or welfare code for other people. We do not, for example, vary the minimum wage for people with more children or those who may care for older people or people with disabilities.
"In the end of the day the state does not get involved in our personal circumstances to any great degree. The responsibilities or lack of responsibility are personal issues for individuals and should not be brought in to the issue of the minimum wage particularly though legislation.
"Employers and employees can negotiate deals depending on their situations, but the state should treat everybody the same. Apart from marriage the only area where this is provided for is in relation to the minimum wage and young people."
To check out the full details of the proposed bill, you can read it in full right here.