C: Amina Filkins / Pexels

Mandate says that two thirds of Irish retail staff earn less than €451 a week

New research published by the Mandate Trade Union has found that nearly two-thirds of Irish retail staff are earning less than €451 per week, with some employees saying they are working fewer hours than they would like.

Retail accounts for around 10% of all direct employment in the state, and the research found that among Mandate members, the median hourly rate is €13.88p/h, with an average rate of €14.50.

However, “in terms of the weekly wage, around 64% of members surveyed for this report earn below €451 a week, with only 21% earning more than the
current cost of living wage of €502p/w,” the report found.

It said that hourly wages in retail were increasing, but suggested the majority of workers weren’t being given enough hours in banded-hour contracts to earn more than the weekly living wage, which is pegged at just over €500 per week.

Seventy-five percent of those surveyed by Mandate said that they were on a banded-hour contract – with 50% of those on a contract of 31 hours or more a week.

40% of those surveyed wanted to work more hours than their banded contract, while 60% did not.

When asked what was preventing them from working additional hours, only 29% of respondents said it was because there were no hours available.

One in five of the respondents said it was because their manager would not allow them to work outside of their contract hours. Around 17% said it was because of caring responsibilities, while another 30% said it was for reasons outside of those already mentioned. Only 3% said it was for reasons of education/study.

Mandate said that “it appears that there is capacity with retail for such hours to be met on a contractual basis if the managerial will was there” – and that “legislative change is needed to enable staff to work more than their ‘banded-hours’ contracts where extra working hours are available”.

Dr Conor McCabe, researcher with the Queen’s University Management School, Belfast said that CSO data showed that retail staff “work 72% of the average national working week.”

“A significant number of these workers, 40%, would like to work more than their banded hours. While some do get that opportunity, many do not due to a mix of management intransigence and care responsibilities,” Dr McCabe said.

Mandate also called for the national minimum wage to be replaced with a Cost of Living Wage.

“The National Minimum Wage is no longer fit for purpose in terms of helping workers avoid poverty – particularly at a time of rapid increases in the cost of living. To tackle this problem, the National Minimum Wage needs to be replaced by a Cost of Living Wage which would ensure that everyone in work can have enough income to live decently.”

“In addition, the sub-minimum rates that apply to young workers and deny them decent incomes – as well as being blatantly discriminatory – need to be abolished too,” the trade union said.

Share mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer mdi-chevron-left Prev Next mdi-chevron-right Related
Comments are closed

Do you agree with President Higgins that Irish Primary Schools "should teach sexuality in its fullest sense"?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...