The Law and You: Changes to Ireland's minimum wage

The Law and You: Changes to Ireland's minimum wage
Ireland's Minimum Wage will increase to €9.55 per hour from January 1, 2018.


I have heard that the minimum wage will increase again. How do I check my wages? What should I do if they don’t increase?


Currently, the minimum wage in Ireland is €9.25 per hour since 1st January 2017.

It was recently announced that the National Minimum Wage will increase from the 1st January 2018 to €9.55 per hour for adults.

An employer can always elect to pay you more than the minimum wage.

There are lower rates for employees under 18 and in the year of employment after a person’s 18th birthday.

The National Minimum Wage applies to all employees, including full-time, part-time, temporary and casual employees. It does not apply to employees who are close relatives of the employer e.g. spouse, parent, sibling or employees undergoing structured training such as an apprenticeship (except for hairdressing apprenticeships where the minimum wage does apply).

Wages include normal basic pay, overtime, shift allowances, a bonus or commission, payment for food or accommodation, and any holiday, sick or maternity pay.

The minimum wage calculation does not take account of any payment of expenses incurred by you in carrying out your employment, any overtime/unsocial hours premium, any tips received (even if placed in a central fund and paid out by the employer as part of your wages), any pension or payment in connection with the death, retirement or resignation.

There are some other inclusions and exclusions and if you are unsure if these are relevant to your rate of pay then you should seek advice for example from your Union, the Citizen’s Information Bureau, the Workplace Relations Commission or a Solicitor.

To calculate your rate of pay, you should:

- Find out your gross pay for a period 

- Deduct any of the exclusions such as travelling expenses

- Count how many hours worked for the period of your pay 

- Divide your gross pay by the total number of hours worked 

You should get your gross pay from your payslip. Your employer is obliged to provide you with a written payslip with every wage packet or as soon as possible after the bank transfer.

The payslip must show the gross amount of the wages paid and itemise all deductions.

If you work Sundays, employees are generally entitled to a premium payment or paid time off in lieu. In summary, I advise you to check your wage slip or request that you be provided one. Then query any discrepancies with your employer directly. If this does not resolve the matter then you can make a complaint by submitting the online complaint form available on

Your employer is prohibited from victimising you if you seek your entitlement to the national minimum wage.

If you require any assistance with this you should contact your Union, the Workplace Relations Commission, the Citizen’s Information Bureau or a Solicitor.

*Orla Kelly is an Associate Solicitor in Cantillons Solicitors of 38/39 South Mall, Cork an award winning law firm practising in all areas of litigation. Since the firm was founded in 1980, they have been involved in precedent making cases, amongst them Best V. Wellcome, Louise O’ Keeffe v. Ireland and most recently Costello V. HSE, a medical negligence claim in which they achieved damages of €17.8 million, the highest ever award in Irish personal injury litigation to date. Cantillons Solicitors received the award of Munster Law Firm of the Year (Over 5 Solicitors) at the AIB Irish Law Awards 2016.

*This weekly column is a readers’ service and is not intended to replace professional advice.

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