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First pay order for early-learning sector
Pic: RollingNews.ie

07 Sep 2022 / employment Print

First pay order for early-learning sector

The Government has approved measures that will, for the first time, set minimum rates of pay for people working in the childcare and early-learning sectors.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said that more than 70% of staff working in these areas would see their pay increase as a result.

The measures come into force on 15 September, after Damien English (Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, pictured) accepted proposals for Employment Regulation Orders (EROs) for the sector.

Funding plan

“The proposals submitted to me will apply to some 27,000 staff, and are a welcome acknowledgement of the importance of the work carried out by everyone working in the early-learning and childcare sector,” said the minister.

The new hourly minimum rates of pay range from €13 for early-years educators and school-age childcare providers, to €17.25 for some managers in the sector.

The start date coincides with the launch of Core Funding Scheme, a €221 million plan to increase funding in these areas.

Retention difficult

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman said that low pay and conditions, as well as limited opportunities for progression, had made it difficult to attract and retain staff in the sector.

“I hope that early-years educators and school-age childcare practitioners can now see a real future for themselves in a job that gives so much to children, their families, and to society more broadly,” he added.

Under the ERO process, the Labour Court recommends minimum pay rates after consultations with interested parties in the relevant sector.

Last month, however, a proposed ERO for the security sector was blocked by a High Court injunction.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland