Ireland: Duties and functions of new Low Pay Commission published

The National Minimum Wage (Low Pay Commission) Act 2015, published in July 2015, sets out the duties and functions of the Low Pay Commission.

The National Minimum Wage (Low Pay Commission) Act 2015 was published in July 2015 (see also Bill Number 42 of 2015), setting out the functions of the Low Pay Commission (LPC).

The LPC is responsible for making a recommendation to the minister on the national minimum wage before 15 July every year (this is so that there is time to incorporate recommendations into budgetary considerations), which will have regard to:

  • changes in earnings during the relevant period;
  • changes in currency exchange rates during the relevant period;
  • changes in income distribution during the relevant period;
  • whether during the relevant period: unemployment has been increasing or decreasing; employment has been increasing or decreasing; and productivity has been increasing or decreasing, both generally and in the sectors most affected by the making of an order;
  • international comparisons, particularly with Great Britain and Northern Ireland;
  • the need for job creation;
  • the likely effect that any proposed order will have on: levels of employment and unemployment; the cost of living; and national competitiveness.

There had been some speculation, that the terms of reference for the LPC may be broadened to include issues other than the minimum wage, for example, tax rates, but under the act its annual recommendations are restricted to the national minimum wage rate only, unless the relevant minister requests otherwise.

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