The budget for 2019 has a number of implications for employers and in this article we take you through the following:
- The rise in the minimum wage
- A new Parental Benefit that entitles each parent to 2 weeks of paid leave from the State
New minimum wage
In January 2019 the National Minimum Wage will increase by 25 cent which means a rise from €9.55 to €9.80 per hour.
Below we have set out what the new Minimum Wage Rates will be from January 2019:
Experienced adult worker €9.80 per hour
Over 19 and less than 2 years since starting first job €8.82 per hour (90%)
Over 18 and less than 1 years since starting first job €7.84 per hour (80%)
Aged under 18 €6.86 per hour (70%)
The definition of an experienced adult worker under the National Minimum Wage Act is an employee who has been in employment of any kind in any 2-year period and is over the age of 18.
Government figures show that currently 151,800 employees which is about 8.9% of all employees are currently on the minimum wage.
New Parental Benefit
A new Parental Benefit will be introduced in addition to Maternity and Paternity Leave and is expected to come into force in November 2019. The leave will not be paid by the employer but will be paid for by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection in the same way that maternity and paternity benefit is currently paid. The new scheme will enable a mother and father to each take two weeks’ leave within 12 months of the birth of the child.
The new measures are part of the Government’s commitment to reduce the burden on working parents especially in the first 12 months and it provides both parents with an equal opportunity to spend time with their new born child. It is expected that this leave will increase to seven years over the coming years to be line with other European countries who provide state funded parental leave.
Details of the new leave have not been issued yet and SFA will keep a watching brief on this and update you as they are released.
More recently, the Parental Leave (Amendment) Bill 2017 passed through the Dáil and will go before the Seanad to complete its passage into law. The Bill when acted will increase unpaid parental leave from 18 weeks up to 26 weeks and it will increase the age requirement of the relevant child from 8 years up to the age of 12.
In addition, Fianna Fáil proposed a Private Member’s Bill which if passed will allow parents to share the maternity leave between them. The Bill is currently before Dáil Éireann at the second stage.
In light of this, it is increasingly likely that businesses should be prepare for and expect more requests from parents seeking time off for childcare commitments and we will keep you updated as these changes come into effect.
If you have a query on any of these issues please contact Helen Quinn on 01 605 1668 or at firstname.lastname@example.org