News & Events

Minimum rates of pay for workers in the construction and electrical contracting sectors set to rise by 2.7% in the Autumn as Minister Breen gives go ahead for new pay rates following Labour Court recommendations

The Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen TD, has formally approved two recommendations from the Labour Court for new minimum pay rates, having been satisfied that in its consideration, the Court complied fully with the provisions of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015. The new rates will apply to workers in the construction and electrical contracting sectors.

He said: “The Sectoral Employment process is welcome in that it provides an independent assessment of pay rates that takes into account the views of all interested parties. In the case of the Labour Court’s latest recommendations, I have carefully considered the Labour Court reports to ensure that the requirements of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015 have been observed. I am satisfied that the Labour Court has applied the process properly and, on this basis, I am pleased to formally accept its recommendations.”

The Minister added: “These measures are an important step in securing stability and growth in crucial sectors in our economy. These Orders will protect the working conditions of workers in the construction and electrical contracting sector; will underpin continued good relations between workers and employers in the sectors; and will help maintain the attractiveness of these sectors as career options.”

In the case of the construction sector the Labour Court recommendation follows on from an application by the BATU, Connect, OPATSI, SIPTU and UNITE to the Court to review the terms and conditions of workers in the Construction Sector. The application in the electrical contracting sector was made by Connect and the Association of Electrical Contractors Ireland and the Electrical Contractors Association. Both applications were made in accordance with Section 14 of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015.

Following completion of its review of both applications, and in line with Section 15 of the Act, the Labour Court submitted its recommendations under Section 16 of the Act to the Minister within the statutory deadlines, recommending the following minimum rates of pay:

Construction

The following basic hourly rates of pay will apply in the sector from 1st October 2019 to 30th September 2020:
Craftspersons €19.44 per hour Bricklayers/Stone Layers; Carpenters and Joiners; Floor Layers; Glaziers; Painters; Plasterers; Stone Cutters; Wood Machinists; Slaters and Tilers.

Category A Worker €18.86 per hour Scaffolders who hold an Advanced Scaffolding Card and who have four years’ experience; Banks operatives, Steel Fixers; Crane Drivers and Heavy Machine Operators.

Category B Worker €17.50 per hour Skilled General Operatives who have worked in the sector for more than 2 years.

New Entrant Operative Workers €14.14 per hour To apply for 2 years to new entrant operative workers over the age of 18 years and entering the sector for the first time.

The following rates of pay shall apply to apprentices employed in the sector from 1st October 2019 to 30th September 2020:
Apprentice Year 1 33.3% of Craft rate
Apprentice Year 2 50% of Craft Rate
Apprentice Year 3 75% of Craft Rate
Apprentice Year 4 90% of Craft Rate

The following basic hourly rates of pay will apply in the sector from 1st October 2020.

Craftsperson €19.96 per hour Bricklayers/Stone Layers; Carpenters and Joiners; Floor Layers; Glaziers; Painters; Plasterers; Stone Cutters; Wood Machinists; Slaters and Tilers.

Category A Worker €19.37 per hour Scaffolders who hold an Advanced Scaffolding Card and who have four years’ experience; Banks operatives, Steel Fixers; Crane Drivers and Heavy Machine Operators.

Category B Worker €17.97 per hour Skilled General Operatives who have worked in the sector for more than 2 years.

New entrant operative workers €14.52 To apply for 2 years to new entrant operative workers over the age of 18 years and entering the sector for the first time.

The following basic hourly rates of pay will apply to apprentices employed in the sector from 1st October 2020.

Apprentice Year 1 33.3% of Craft rate
Apprentice Year 2 50% of Craft Rate
Apprentice Year 3 75% of Craft Rate
Apprentice Year 4 90% of Craft Rate

Electrical Contracting Sector

The following hourly rates of pay shall apply to the indicated categories of employee employed in the sector from 1st September 2019:

Category 1 (Newly qualified electricians employed in the sector) €23.49

Category 2 (qualified electricians employed in the sector with effect from the commencement of their 3rd year of employment after qualification as an electrician) €23.96

Category 3 (Electricians employed in the sector with effect from the commencement of their 6th year of employment after qualification as an electrician) €24.34

The following rates of pay shall apply to apprentices employed in the sector from 1st September 2019:

Apprentice Year 1
€7.05
Apprentice Year 2
€10.57
Apprentice Year 3
€15.27
Apprentice Year 4
€18.80

The recommendations also provide for unsocial hours payments and sets terms for pension and sick pay schemes.

The recommendation is the second such recommendation from the Labour Court in the construction sector and the first in the electrical contracting sector. The recommendations, if approved by both Houses of the Oireachtas, will take effect by means of a Sectoral Employment Order (SEO).
As required, the Minister will now proceed to have the draft Order considered in both Houses of the Oireachtas over the coming weeks before it can be adopted in law.

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITOR
Sectoral Employment Orders (SEO) are a wage setting mechanism provided for in the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015. They replace the Registered Employment Agreement system which was found to be unconstitutional in 2013.

Employers and Unions that are substantially representative of a Sector can jointly or separately ask the Labour Court to review terms and conditions in a Sector. Such a review involves a public consultation process.

The Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015 sets out principles and policies which the Labour Court must have regard to when making its recommendation. The Court makes its recommendation to the Minister along with a Report on the circumstances around the making of the recommendation.

If the Minister is satisfied that the Court complied with the provisions of the 2015 Act a draft Order must be laid before each House of the Oireachtas and the Minister can only make the Order after a resolution approving it has been passed by each House.

Sectoral Employment Orders are legally binding on the Sectors to which they apply and their provisions are enforceable by the Workplace Relations Commission.

Where enterprises in Sectors that are covered by Sectoral Employment Orders are experiencing severe financial difficulties they can apply to the Labour Court for an exemption from paying the rates provided for in the Order. The 2015 Act sets down the type of information and documentation that must be submitted to the Court in support of such an application. Agreement of the majority of workers for whom the exemption is sought is also required by the Court before such an exemption will be granted.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department also has a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

For more information please contact press.office@dbei.gov.ie or ph: (01) 6312200

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