Thousands of Irish low paid workers set for pay rise

Around 50,000 low-paid workers are set to receive a pay rise after new binding wage agreements for the contract cleaning and security sectors were signed into law.

Previously under the Joint Labour Committee system both the employers and unions in a sector would agree on legally binding pay and conditions for employees in that particular sector. In 2011 however the Supreme Court deemed the system was unconstitutional and following the decision new recruits only enjoyed the basic protections of the Minimum Wage and Working Time legislation.

The Government has now reinstated the system with the required constitutional safeguards.

From today, the pay of around 30,000 contract cleaners will be €9.75 an hour for the first 44 hours – up from €9.50 under the old JLC, and an increase of 2.6%.

The first four hours of overtime will be paid at time and a half, and subsequent overtime will be paid at double time.

All hours on Sundays will be at double time.

The 20,000 employees in the security sector will see their basic pay rate rise from €10.01 under the old system to €10.75 – an increase of 7.4%.

All overtime over 48 hours will be at time-and-a-half.

The new agreements will also deal with terms and conditions including annual leave and sick pay – and the wage increases for both sectors will be payable with immediate effect.

The move comes as the new streamlined system of employment rights machinery centring on the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court comes into being today.