The Government on Tuesday said that it plans to replace the current minimum wage with a new 'living wage' that will be set at 60% of the median wage in any given year.
The proposal to replace the minimum wage will be phased in over four years and would result in a living wage of €12.17 an hour, if calculated based on this year's median wage.
The current minimum wage is €10.50 per hour.
'Make Work Pay'
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar told RTÉ that the country was almost at full employment and his government wants to "make work pay".
"Whether you get up in the morning, or you work late at night, we want you to be paid more."
He said that preparations would begin shortly on implementing the living wage so that its introduction could start from next January.
He added, "What we don't want to do is, in an attempt to do something good by increasing people's pay and increasing it significantly, is actually put employers in a position where they have to lay people off for a couple of hours because that's the unintended consequence sometimes of trying to do something good is that you actually do harm."
Varadkar also said that there is a commitment in the Programme For Government, agreed by all three Coalition parties, to have a "tax package" in every annual Budget.
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News by Reuters, additional reporting and edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more Retail stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.