Ibec comment on Low Pay Commission

September 23, 2020

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has expressed surprise and disappointment at the withdrawal of Patricia King and Gerry Light from their positions as employees' representatives on the Low Pay Commission.   

The Low Pay Commission is an independent, evidence-based body.  It was established to guide government in setting the National Minimum Wage having considered comprehensive criteria on the prevailing social and economic factors as set out in the National Minimum Wage (Low Pay Commission) Act, 2015. 

The Low Pay Commission, recognising the unprecedented challenges facing the Irish and global economies arising from the Covid-19 pandemic were unable to make a recommendation in July and had postponed further considerations until this month.    

The economy continues to face considerable challenges with the application of additional Covid related restrictions last week, with all the consequent impacts on retail, tourism and hospitality.  Unemployment stands at 16.7% and while the impact of Brexit remains unclear it is likely to further impact these vulnerable sectors next year.    

Across the private sector there is little evidence of pay increases with many businesses where the national minimum wage is prevalent, availing of wage subsidy schemes and many others restructuring to survive.  In the public sector, no commitment has been given to pay increases.  Public sector adjustments this year reflect the final stage of pay restoration and were agreed in significantly different economic circumstances.