Last year a Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) was introduced for the construction industry to streamline rates of pay and introduce other terms and conditions for sick pay, pensions and a dispute resolution procedure.
In March 2018, a second SEO came in to effect which applies to certain workers in the mechanical engineering building services sector.
Who does it apply to?
The SEO will apply to the following workers who are either directly employed or hired through an employment agency:
- Qualified plumbers and registered apprentice plumbers (craftsperson)
- Qualified pipefitters and registered apprentice pipefitters (craftsperson)
It also applies to qualified plumbers and pipefitters who have acquired additional or advanced welding qualifications and who operate as welders on a day to day basis within the sector.
The SEO will apply to qualified plumbers, pipefitters and apprentices who carry out the following:
"The installation, alteration, fabrication, fitting, repair, maintenance, commission, removal and demolition in any building or its sites of articles, fittings, pipes, containers, tubes or instruments, storage facilities, etc. (including central heating apparatus, central plant apparatus, machinery and fuel containers connected thereto) for heating, cooling, including domestic hot and cold water systems, medical and process gases, process pipe services, utility pipe services and compressed and vacuum services of such buildings.”
Categories of workers and rates of pay
The SEO lists three categories of workers who will receive the following rates of pay:
Category 1 - €22.73 per hour
This is the minimum hourly rate of pay that applies to all newly qualified plumbers and pipefitters employed in the sector.
Category 2 - €23.33 per hour
This is the minimum hourly rate of pay that applies to qualified plumbers and pipefitters employed in the sector and it comes into effect at the start of their third year of employment after they have qualified as a plumber and/or pipefitter.
Category 3 - €23.60 per hour
This is the minimum hourly rate of pay that applies to qualified plumbers and pipefitters employed in the sector and it comes into effect at the start of their sixth year of employment after they have qualified as a plumber and/or pipefitter.
Apprentice plumbers and pipefitters who are registered and employed in the sector will receive the following rates of pay:
- Apprentice year 1 33.3% of Category 1 hourly rate of pay
- Apprentice year 2 50% of Category 1 hourly rate of pay
- Apprentice year 3 75% of Category 1 hourly rate of pay
- Apprentice year 4 90% of Category 1 hourly rate of pay
What is the normal working week and normal working hours?
The normal working week is 39 hours from Monday to Friday.
The normal hours are eight consecutive hours worked between 7am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 7am to 4pm on Friday.
What is the premium rate for working additional / unsocial hours?
The following premium rates of pay apply for any work undertaken outside of the normal working week or hours:
- For hours worked between normal finishing time e.g. 5pm to midnight Monday to Friday, the rate is time plus a half
- For hours worked between midnight and normal starting time e.g. 7am Monday to Friday, the rate is double time
- For the first four hours worked after 7am on Saturday, the rate is time plus a half
- For all other hours worked on Saturday and Sunday, the rate is double time
- For all hours worked on Public Holidays, the rate is double time and an additional day’s leave
Other terms and conditions
The SEO sets out the minimum contribution rates for employers and employees for the pension scheme, death in service and sick pay scheme. Full details of the pension scheme and death in service is detailed in the appendix.
Finally, the SEO sets out the dispute resolution procedure to handle any grievances or collective disputes that must be followed before employees can go on strike or undergo any other form of industrial action.
These SEOs are legally binding and you can download the full SEOs here.
For further information on SEOs or other pay issues, please contact Helen Quinn on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 605 1668.