Ireland: National minimum wage increased

The national statutory minimum wage increased on January 1, 2016 to EUR 9.15 per hour (EUR 18,556 annually, based on a 39 hour work week), per the National Minimum Wage Order 2015.

Cases Where Increases May Be Required

This regulation affects all workers and will have the biggest impact on foreign nationals under the following types of work authorization:

  • Those where a lower salary threshold is accepted, including the following:                                                                                              
    • Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit;
    • Internship Employment Permit; and
    • Atypical Working Scheme Authorization.
  • Intra-Company Transfer and Contract for Services employment permits, where the employee’s home salary required a ‘top up’ to reach the minimum wage level. These salaries will need to be raised to the new minimum requirement before adding other allowable expenses (such as payments for board, accommodation or health insurance).

In all such cases, the employer must immediately increase the salary to meet the new requirement.

Moreover, if applicable, the base salary must be increased before adding any allowable components required to achieve the minimum annual remuneration for the permit category (e.g., EUR 40,000 for a standard Intra-Company Transfer permit). This increase must appear as a payment on the assignee’s payslips.

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Employers must ensure that salaries paid to foreign nationals in Ireland meet the new higher wage.

Since the revised minimum wage applies to foreign nationals with existing work authorization, employers must reassess salaries for employees who only just met the minimum base salary threshold before allowable components were added.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK