The Low Pay Commission (LPC) is to investigate the preponderance of women on the national minimum wage and the appropriateness of the sub-minima rates which currently apply to young people.
The LPC has been asked to look at these youth rates with regard to their impact on youth employment and participation in education.
The commission is an independent body set up last year whose main function is to advise the government on the appropriate rate of the national minimum age.
The Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash, said: “We have fundamentally changed the way that the national minimum wage is set through the establishment of the Low Pay Commission and I am pleased that this independent body is now moving onto its next phase of work.
“I have requested that it examines issues relating to women, who represent the majority of those who earn the minimum wage, and also to young people who can be paid lower rates.”