Plans to phase out the minimum wage in favour of the living wage by 2026 were announced by Government. Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar brought the plans to Cabinet earlier this week that would see the gap between the minimum wage and the living wage close over the coming four years.
The living wage will be set at 60% of the median wage in any given year. It is the minimum hourly wage that should enable workers to afford to live at an agreed socially acceptable minimum standard of living.
While the exact living wage would depend on the median wage in a given year, the Department of Enterprise gave indicative figures illustrating how the living wage would change over the coming four years based on current projections; €12.17 p/h in 2022, €12.54 in 2023, €12.92 in 2024, €13.30 in 2025, and €13.70 in 2026.
The new plans would also mean that the living wage would become mandatory for all employers by 2026. However, the economic circumstances of the country may delay the proposed changes.