Written Answers. - National Minimum Wage.

Wednesday, 10 May 2000

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 518 No. 6

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  133.  Ms Shortall  Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   if she will provide a breakdown per sector of the estimated number or percentage of workers directly affected by the introduction of the national minimum wage. [12870/00]

Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Mr. T. Kitt): Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  The National Minimum Wage Act, 2000 became law on 1 April and it was estimated that 163,000 employees would benefit from the Act.

The final report of the Inter-Departmental Group on Implementation of a National Minimum Wage, dated May 1999, contains a study, undertaken by the ESRI, of the likely impact of [1435] the national minimum wage on employment, competitiveness, and inflation.

Table 2.6 from the ESRI study details the estimated percentage of employees directly affected by the introduction of the national minimum wage in different sectors of the economy and I am circulating that table as part of this reply.

% in sector below £4.40 (£3.08) in 2000
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 58.3
Building and construction 14.3
Other production industries 10.1
Wholesale 12.4
Retail 27.8
Insurance, finance etc. 1.0
Transport, etc. 4.0
Professional services 10.1
Teaching 6.8
Health 11.1
Public administration and defence 1.1
Personal services 43.5
Others 17.0
All 13.6

  134.  Mr. Gormley  Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   if the minimum wage applies to apprentices; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13019/00]

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Ms Harney): Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  The National Minimum Wage Act, 2000 became law on 1 April and it was estimated that 163,000 employees would benefit from the Act.

The Act does not apply to an apprentice within the meaning of or under the Industrial Training Act, 1967, or the Labour Services Act, 1987. The apprenticeships concerned are set out in the Labour Services Act, 1987 – Apprenticeship Rules, 1997 (SI No. 168 of 1997).

The classes of apprentices listed under SI No. 168 of 1997 are: carton maker, printer, originator, bookbinder, bricklayer, plasterer, painter-decorator, vehicle body repairer, agricultural mechanic, aircraft mechanic, refrigeration craftsperson, sheet metal worker, cabinet maker, wood machinist, plumber, metal fabricator, heavy vehicle mechanic, toolmaker, construction plant fitter, motor mechanic, carpenter-joiner, fitter, electrician, instrumentation craftsperson, and floor-wall tiler.

These apprenticeships lead to craft worker status for the apprentices who complete their apprenticeship.

Other apprentices, such as apprentice hairdressers, who do not fall within the above categories are covered by the Act.


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