Government signs into law increased pay rates for building workers

Construction staff to get two pay increases of 2.8% over next two years, following Labour Court recommendation

Unions had sought higher increases but employers’ groups, who warned of inflation in the building sector, argued for lower increases than those granted. Photograph: iStock

Unions had sought higher increases but employers’ groups, who warned of inflation in the building sector, argued for lower increases than those granted. Photograph: iStock

 

The Government has signed into law a new pay deal for the construction sector, with up to 50,000 building workers in line for pay rises of about 5.6 per cent spread over the next two years.

Minister of State for Business and Employment Damien English has signed a new Sectoral Employment Order for the building industry, following a Labour Court recommendation that was also voted through the Oireachtas two weeks ago.

The order will provide for increases of about 2.8 per cent in the hourly rates of building workers in February 2022 and the same month in 2023. The increases were recommended by the Labour Court following an application by five unions representing workers in the sector, including Siptu and Unite.

The unions had sought higher increases but employers’ groups, who warned of inflation in the building sector, argued for lower increases than those granted.

The order sets a minimum hourly rate for the highest qualified craft workers in the sector at €20.52 per hour from next February, with rates of €19.91 for skilled Category A workers, €18.47 for Category B workers, and an entry level hourly rate of €14.93 for operatives such as labourers.

These hourly rates will rise by 2.8 per cent a year later. Apprentices will be entitled to between 33.3 per cent of the rates for their first year, rising to 90 per cent for fourth year apprentices.

Mr English said the new rates are “an important step in ensuring the sector remains competitive, productive and sustainable, and will help support the delivery of the Government’s multibillion capital investment” plans.