Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has today warned that there is no case for further increasing the minimum wage rate, if the Government's concern is to be competitive and to keep jobs.
In a detailed submission to the Low Pay Commission, Ibec looks at the criteria to justify any minimum wage increases, but the submission shows that none of these conditions are currently being met.
At the current exchange rate, Irish minimum wage is currently 9.5% higher than that in the UK. Ibec have also noted that after two recent hikes upwards, Ireland’s minimum wage rate is the second highest in the EU.
Ibec Director of Employer Relations, Maeve McElwee says, "Almost half of minimum wage workers in Ireland are employed in retail and hospitality. These are sectors of the economy that are facing very acute challenges from the fallout of Brexit and the weak sterling. Exporting sectors, such as manufacturing and agri-food, are already struggling to compete on a global scale."
She added, "Any further cost burdens imposed by wage increases would be extremely difficult for companies to withstand. The fact is that many businesses simply cannot afford wage rises."