Belfast Telegraph

Minimum wage commission help sought

The Government has launched a search for people with experience in low pay to help set the national minimum wage.

It is also looking for applicants with a management background and academics to form the new Low Pay Commission.

Business Minister Ged Nash said the nine-member panel will take the politics out of the minimum wage and will also have the power to examine other low pay issues.

"I want to see the minimum wage progressively increased where the economic circumstances, the demands of job creation and social conditions and requirements converge," he said.

"It represents a floor beneath which no working person should be allowed to fall.

"It will be up to the Low Pay Commission to examine these issues on an evidence basis and revert to Government with a recommendation."

The Government is seeking applications through the State Boards process.

It is looking for an independent chairperson, three people with a "deep understanding" of low paid workers, three from an employer background and two members experienced in economics or employment law.

The national minimum wage is currently 8.65 euro.

Up until the setting up of the commission, it could be changed following a recommendation in a national agreement, a recommendation by the Labour Court or directly by the Business Minister.

The commission will work with interest groups, workers and employers to help strike the rate of minimum pay.

"I would like to see high calibre people from worker, employer and academic backgrounds put themselves forward to serve on the Low Pay Commission," Mr Nash said.

The closing date for expressions of interest, through, is January 12.

The commission has been given an annual budget of 500,000 euro to carry out its work.

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