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Economic crisis and the restructuring of wage setting mechanisms for vulnerable workers in Ireland Thomas Turner and Michelle O

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Economic crisis and the restructuring of wage setting mechanisms for vulnerable workers in Ireland Thomas Turner and Michelle O Sullivan ICTU Women s Conference – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Economic crisis and the restructuring of wage setting mechanisms for vulnerable workers in Ireland Thomas Turner and Michelle O


1
Economic crisis and the restructuring of wage
setting mechanisms for vulnerable workers in
IrelandThomas Turner and Michelle
OSullivanICTU Womens Conference1st March
2012michelle.osullivan_at_ul.ie
2
Historical context
  • Trade Boards were predecessors to JLCs
  • Designed to protect low paid workers where
    collective bargaining was inadequate
  • The Industrial Relations Act 1946
  • Renamed JLCs
  • Widened powers

3
Employees covered by JLCs
4
First challenge to JLCs
  • Constitutional challenge against Catering JLC
    from Quick Service Food Alliance 2008
  • Research on employers reasons for legal
    challenge
  • Improved enforcement by NERA
  • Higher detection of underpayments
  • Employers critical of overtime pay, particularly
    Sunday pay

5
Second emerging challenge
  • Economic crisis
  • Arguments that JLC pay rates were costing jobs
  • IMF/EU/ECB bail-out
  • Commitment to review JLC system
  • Need to increase flexibility and facilitate
    re-adjustment in the labour market

6
Paper objectives
  • To examine the structure of earnings hours of
    low paid workers
  • What groups more likely to earn JLC wages?
  • Examine extent of overtime shift working
  • Examine extent of overtime earnings, shift
    allowances and bonuses to low paid workers
  • Comparison of low paid and higher paid workers re
    overtime etc. earnings

7
Methodology
  • 2007 National Employment Survey (NES) in the
    private sector
  • Dependent measure is average hourly earnings
  • Approximately 75 per cent of respondents (44,861)
    in the private sector
  • Grossed up to the employed labour force of
    approximately 1.7 million employees.

8
How many employees are low paid?
  • Median hourly earnings 16.29
  • Low pay work as two thirds of median hourly
    earnings - 10.86 or less
  • 25 private sector workers (323,912) are low paid
  • JLC range - 8.23 to 9.68

9
Low pay earnings
Low pay in Private sector N of low pay private sector
Less than 8.23 10 32,666 2.5
JLC 8.23-9.68 52 168,092 13
9.69 10.86 38 123,154 9.5
100 323,912 25
10
Who are JLC workers?
  • Female
  • twice as likely
  • Account for 63 of JLC workers
  • Less educated
  • Part-time
  • 3 times more likely
  • Under 25 years of age
  • 3 times more likely
  • Non-Irish
  • Twice as likely

11
Who are JLC workers?
  • Manual or routine service type work
  • 7 times more likely
  • Non-union
  • Low levels of employment service
  • 72 of workers less than 5 yrs
  • Work in the hotels/restaurant and whole/retail
    sectors

12
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13
Selected characteristics of workers covered by
JLC rates
14
Distribution of overtime hours, earnings and
shift allowance
15
(No Transcript)
16
Working time earnings
  • Workers who work no overtime and receive no shift
    allowance or bonuses more likely to be covered by
    JLC rates
  • Workers who get no shift allowance twice as
    likely to work shifts.

17
Conclusion
  • Evidence does not support the argument that extra
    payments such as Sunday premiums, shift allowance
    and over-time payments to workers covered by JLCs
    represent a major cost to employers in general.
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