How are board and lodging allowances calculated for farm workers?

The boarding and lodging allowances, which apply to employees on Irish farms, are regulated under the National Minimum Wage Act 2000.

The act, which is under the remit of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, sets out legislation to determine and employee’s average hourly rate.

Under the act, provisions for board and lodging, for all employees including farm works, are established.

Provisions for board and lodgings:
  • €54.13 for board and lodgings per week, or €7.73 per day.
  • €32.14 for board only per week, or €4.60 per day.
  • €21.85 for lodgings only per week, or €3.14 per day. 

Thus, if an employer provides an employee with full board and lodgings, or lodgings only or full board only, a monetary allowance can be included as part of the employees calculated pay.

The inclusion of this provision in the National Minimum Wage legislation was recommended by the Inter-Departmental Group on Implementation of a National Minimum Wage.

It was the view of the Inter-Departmental Group at the time that the monetary value of the allowances for the purpose of the National Minimum Wage would not be set at market value.

What is the National Minimum Wage?

According to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the current national minimum hourly rate of pay for an adult worker is €9.15.

This rate came into effect on January 1, following Government acceptance of the Low Pay Commission’s first recommendation of July 2015 to increase the rate from €8.65 per hour.

The Act applies to all employees, including full-time, part-time, temporary and casual employees, except the following categories of employees who are excluded from its provisions:

  • close relatives of the employer, such as a spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, brother and sister; and,
  • apprentices within the meaning of the Industrial Training Act 1967 and Labour Services Act 1987, including an apprentice printer, bricklayer, mechanic, plumber, carpenter/joiner and electrician.

An experienced adult worker is an employee who is over the age of 18 and is not in their first two years of employment since turning 18.