Ireland | May 30, 2024

Minimum Wage in Ireland — All Your Questions Answered

Most Irish workers are legally entitled to a minimum wage that's decided based on their age and status. The minimum wage in Ireland is intended to ensure all employees get paid fairly, but how does it compare to the Irish national average salary?

A green leprechaun hat with blooming clovers and an Irish flag in its band, next to a miniature pot of gold

Recent studies place Ireland among the most expensive countries in the world to live in, with some estimates placing it in top 15, while others ranking it even higher. With such a high cost of living, it is fortunate that the law requires employers to pay the Irish minimum wage. This is the basic rate of pay that can help workers to calculate how much they should be earning for the work they do.

In this guide, we explain how the minimum wage in Ireland works and compare it to the nation's average salary.

1. What Is the Minimum Wage in Ireland?

Under the National Minimum Wage Act 2000, the majority of Irish employees are entitled to a minimum wage.

The minimum wage Ireland sets for its employees will be increased in January 2024, and most workers will be entitled to at least €12.70 per hour. Some younger employees are subject to a lower minimum wage rate, as set out in the table below.

*Minimum weekly, monthly, and annual salary for an Irish worker earning minimum wage calculated based on the average 40-hour working week.
Age Hourly Pay Weekly Salary Monthly Salary Annual Salary
Age 20+ €12.70 €508 €2,201 €26,416
Age 19 €11.43 €457 €1,981 €23,774
Age 18 €10.16 €406 €1,761 €21,133
Under 18 €8.89 €356 €1,541 €18,491

2. What Is the Irish Minimum Wage as a Yearly Salary?

The average Irish employee works 40 hours each week. Based on the national minimum wage of €12.70 per hour, the average worker aged 20 or over can expect to earn at least €26,416 per year. This means that a worker earning minimum wage in the Republic of Ireland will earn a monthly salary of €1,955.

3. How Is the Minimum Wage Calculated in Ireland?

Euro banknotes, coins and a calculator in front of the national flag of Ireland

Irish law requires employers to pay the national minimum wage as gross earnings. This means that the total minimum wage rate is calculated before any money is deducted for tax, pension contributions, or salary sacrifice schemes.

The minimum wage is calculated based on average pay for the hours in your employment contract or the number of hours you actually work, including:

  • Your basic hourly rate
  • Any premium pay for late shifts or Sunday work
  • Bonus payments
  • Service charges

Employers may be able to make deductions to your rate of pay if you receive accommodation (lodgings) or food (board) as part of your employment. These are deducted at a rate of up to €1.14 per hour worked for board, and up to €4.28 per day for lodgings.

Visit the Irish Citizens Information website to find out more about how the minimum wage is calculated.

4. How to Calculate Your Hourly Rate?

To calculate your hourly rate, you will need to divide your gross pay (earnings before money has been deducted for tax, pension, and other items) by the number of hours you worked during the payment period.

To give an example, if you worked 140 hours over the course of a month and earned €1,900, your calculation would look something like this: 1900 / 140 = 13.57

Here your hourly wage would be €13.57 — almost €1 more than the national minimum wage in Ireland.

5. Who Can Get Minimum Wage in Ireland?

You may be entitled to receive the Irish national minimum wage if you are aged 20 or over and work full-time, part-time, or as a temporary, seasonal, or casual employee.

Younger workers are also entitled to Ireland's national minimum wage but at a lower rate depending on their age.

6. Who Is Not Entitled to the Irish Minimum Wage?

Unfortunately, not everyone in Ireland is entitled to the national minimum wage. Employers are not required to pay the minimum wage rates to employees who are close relatives, or anyone who is taking part in an official apprenticeship scheme.

7. Do You Pay Tax on Minimum Wage in Ireland?

A young couple checking their tax forms using a pocket calculator

A worker earning minimum wage in Ireland may still be subject to income tax and other deductions. Based on yearly earnings of €26,416, an Irish employee is likely to pay:

Tax Breakdown Yearly Monthly
Irish Income Tax €1,533 €128
Universal Social Charge (USC) €361 €30
Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) €1,063 €89
Total Tax Due €2,958 €246

After deductions, an Irish employee earning minimum wage and working 40 hours per week is likely to take home €23,458 per year — equal to take-home pay of €1,955 per month.

The amount of tax you will have to pay when earning minimum wage in Ireland will depend on your personal circumstances. To quickly work out how much you could end up owing, use our handy Salary Calculator for Ireland.

8. Can You Live off Minimum Wage in Dublin?

Whether you can afford to live on the minimum wage in Dublin will depend on the type of lifestyle you lead. While some people manage to get by on €1,000 or even less per month, many would struggle to adapt to life with less pay since the average wage in Dublin is €47,934 — over €20,000 more than the annual earnings of somebody earning minimum wage!

9. How Does the Irish Minimum Wage Compare to the Rest of Europe?

Ireland sets one of the best examples in Europe when it comes to minimum wage rates! Ireland's national minimum wage is comparable with Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and France with a monthly rate of more than €1,500 for full-time workers.

In comparison, there are many European countries with a minimum wage of less than €1,000 per month — including Portugal, Poland, Greece, Hungary, Romania, and Malta.

10. What Is the Average Salary in Ireland?

The average annual salary in Ireland is €46,814, according to figures from Ireland's Central Statistics Office (CSO). While this might sound like a lot, the data is skewed by very high earners who bring up the average.

For a more accurate take on what people earn in Ireland, it is better to look at the median income across all of Ireland — which currently sits at €40,579 per year.

11. How Much Do You Need to Earn to Live in Dublin?

Office buildings along the north shore of the River Liffey with the iconic Samuel Beckett Bridge in the foreground

The amount you will need to earn in order to live comfortably in Dublin depends on your desired lifestyle and personal preferences. While it is possible to get by on a shoestring budget, many Dubliners spend a significant amount just on keeping up with rising rental costs and utility bills.

With the typical Dublin resident spending anywhere from €1,270 to €2,460 per month, it is fair to say that somebody earning minimum wage may find their budget stretched. While it is still possible to live in the Irish capital city without earning a huge salary, you may have to make do with shared housing and fewer luxuries than somebody earning the average salary for Dublin.

Could you live in Dublin on minimum wage? Find out more by reading our guide to the Cost of Living in the Irish Capital.

12. What Is the Living Wage in Ireland?

The Living Wage is a rate of pay that is recommended by certain political groups. They suggest that it is a fairer rate for workers to be paid given the cost of living in Ireland. In 2024, the suggested Irish Living Wage will be €14.80 per hour.

Unlike the national minimum wage, the Irish Living Wage is not mandatory and employers are not required to offer it.

13. Final Thoughts

The national minimum wage is set by the Irish government to ensure that all employees in Ireland receive a fair rate of pay for the work they do. While it might not be enough to make you wealthy, it is one of the highest minimum wage rates in all of Europe.

If you are concerned about the wage you are earning or feel that your employer is not paying you a fair rate, contact the Irish Citizens Information Board for help and support.