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Only a living income will break vicious cycle of low pay

15 February 2023

Labour spokesperson on workers rights, Senator Marie Sherlock has today (Wednesday, 15th February) urged the Government to legislate further and faster for a living wage and said all retail workers deserve a living income.
Senator Sherlock said:
“This is a very important and timely research from Mandate Trade Union and certainly will give the powers that be food for thought. The findings are clear. ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ shows real change is needed to give workers the extra working hours they need to make a living income. What good is a decent rate of hourly pay without the hours to back it up."
"Too many employers are gaming the PRSI system to keep workers on the reduced employer PRSI rate. It is not acceptable and it needs to stop.In order to break the vicious cycle of low pay and working poverty, the Government must go further and faster to make a living wage and income a credible reality.

"This will include significant changes to employers PRSI contributions, better access to affordable public childcare, the lifting of the social wage and ultimately stronger and more legislation that gives trade unions a right to organise.”

“The starting point must be for a living wage to be paid to workers in the retail sector and for the Government to ensure that employers and workers have a mechanism to come together to negotiate, to bargain for better conditions and to set out how we can achieve living income for the entire sector.”

She added: "We also reiterate Labour’s full support for the call to scrap the sub-minimum rates that apply to young workers and deny them decent incomes. They are blatantly discriminatory and must go.”