Living wage proposals to be presented to government ahead of summer vacation

Proposals to introduce a living wage in Ireland will be presented to the government before the summer recess, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said.

The living wage in Ireland is €12.90 an hour, according to a group of researchers, academics and social justice groups, known as the Living Wage Technical Group.

This is €2.40 more than the national minimum wage, which is €10.50 per hour.

Mr Varadkar said the introduction of a living wage “will be a significant change” for workers in Ireland.

He was speaking after the launch of the Open Doors Initiative’s Pathways to Progress, a new employment support center for migrants.

The organization seeks to help marginalized groups access continuing education, employment and entrepreneurship in Ireland.

Mr Varadkar said many changes in our public service that affect migrants are “taking far too long to implement”.

“I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s because issues affecting migrants don’t get the political attention they deserve. They don’t have as loud a voice as they should,” he said.

“I think government and the public service as a whole need to diversify. Unlike the private sector, the multinational sector and the health sector, our civil service in Ireland is almost 100% white and ethnically Irish, and this does not reflect the society we live in today.

Mr Varadkar said there had been a record number of work permit applications, at around 30,000 a year.

They have tripled the number of staff to process work permit applications, Mr. Varadkar said, to reduce the wait time which can currently reach 20 weeks.

On the new job hub, Jeanne McDonagh, chief executive of the Open Doors Initiative, said Ireland is now home to people from all over the world.

“Their routes to Ireland are different, but the key to their integration and success in Ireland is the opportunity to find meaningful employment or start a new business. Some are refugees, others live on direct benefits, some will have their status newly regularized and others will come straight to work,” she said.

“Our new service aims to help all migrants find decent work as they prepare to enter the Irish job market, and to support employers as they seek to create an inclusive culture in their workplace. .”

Francesca McDonagh, chief executive of Bank of Ireland and chair of the Open Doors Initiative, said the new scheme aims to “harness the creativity and energy” of migrants and Ireland.

“Coming from a family of refugees and immigrants, I know how important access to a good job is to building a new life in a new country,” she said.

“As an employer, I know how essential it is for a successful business to have a diverse and creative workforce with talented, dynamic and inspiring people from all walks of life who shape the organization.”

The Open Doors Initiative also announced the first internship program for one of its member companies.

Siro is offering a 12-week paid internship program for six refugees in areas including marketing, engineering, quality, health and safety, IT and administration, the organization said.

Michael A. Bynum