MESL Analysis of Sub-Minima Rates Adequacy Submission to Low Pay Commission

Issued: December 2015


If the rate of the National Minimum Wage (and sub-minima rates) is to be evidence based then adequacy must be a primary consideration in the setting of these rates of pay. The MESL data provides a unique evidence based benchmark for the assessment of minimum rates of pay, and forms the basis of the Living Wage calculations. The data has repeatedly demonstrated the inadequacy of the current €8.65 rate. While the increase to €9.15 in 2016 is welcome, this step alone will not enable individuals and households earning the NMW to afford a minimum essential standard of living.

Individuals earning the minimum wage, or sub-minima rates, must forego items and services regarded as essential for taking part in Irish society, in order to make ends meet. The data presented in this submission demonstrates that a single individual in 2016 would need to work over 53 hours per week on the NMW to afford an MESL, if earning a sub-minima rate the hours needed to enable independent living rise as high 76 hours per week.