Construction Sector SEO

First published: December 4th, 2017

Last updated: February 13th, 2023

Construction Sector SEO Rates – 2023

The Sectoral Employment Order (Construction Sector) 2021 (SEO) came into effect on 1 February 2022.

This SEO sets the statutory minimum rates of pay and other conditions (sick pay and pension entitlements) for employees in the construction sector.

Under this SEO, there is a scheduled increase in the minimum pay rates which came into effect on 1 February 2023.

Here we set out a brief summary of these February 2023 pay rates.

What employees does the SEO apply to?

Two criteria determine what employees are covered by the SEO:

  1. The employer must operate in the construction sector, and
  2. It applies to employees who work in the sector and defines their roles into specific classes; apprentices, new entrant operatives, construction operative or craft person.

The SEO defines what activities place an employer within the construction sector and what experience and qualifications place a worker in a particular employee class.

February 2023 Increases in Basic Hourly Rates of Pay

The pay rates for each category of employee set out in the SEO increased on 1 February 2023 and are set out in more detail below:

Category/Classification

Rate of pay

Class of worker

Craftsperson

€21.09 per hour

Bricklayers/Stone Layers; Carpenters and Joiners; Floor Layers; Glaziers; Painters; Plasterers; Stone Cutters; Wood Machinists; Slaters and Tilers.

Category A Worker

€20.47 per hour

Scaffolders who hold an Advanced Scaffolding Card and who have four years’ experience; Banks operatives, Steel Fixers; Crane Drivers and Heavy Machine Operators.

Category B Worker

€18.99 per hour

Skilled General Operatives who have worked in the sector for more than 2 years.

New Entrant Operative Workers

€15.35 per hour

To apply for 2 years to new entrant operative workers over the age of 18 years and entering the sector for the first time.

While the SEO sets the minimum hourly rates to be paid to employees, employers are entitled to provide a higher rate of pay in line with their own pay and reward schemes.

Apprenticeship Pay Rates – 1st February 2023

Year 1

€7.03

33.3% of Craft rate

Year 2

€10.55

50% of Craft rate

Year 3

€15.82

75% of Craft rate

Year 4

€18.98

90% of Craft rate

Overtime rates

Monday to Friday from normal finishing time to midnight

time plus a half

Monday – Friday from midnight to normal starting time

double time

Saturday (1) First four hours from normal starting time

(2) All subsequent hours til midnight

(1) time plus a half

(2) double time

Sunday – all hours worked

double time

Public Holiday – all hours worked

double time plus

an additional day’s leave

Pensions

Every employer covered by this SEO must be part of a pension scheme that is subject to the following conditions:

  • Entry to the pension scheme must be possible from the age of 18
  • The scheme must have facility for payment of a daily contribution rate @ 1/5th of the weekly rate (as specified in the scheme)

Sick Pay

Every employer employing construction staff must also have a sick pay scheme in place.

The sick pay scheme must provide for the following benefits:

  • Payment of a standard sick pay benefit for a specified duration
  • May include a waiting period
  • Facilitate provision of a supplementary sick pay benefit if the claimant has no entitlement to social welfare benefit due to inadequate number of social welfare contributions,
  • The maximum duration under an SEO Sick Pay Scheme should not be any lower than a period of 10 weeks in any calendar year, whether for a single claim or in aggregate in a scheme year

It should also be noted that employees will also have certain statutory sick pay rights under the Statutory Sick Pay Scheme which came into effect on 1st January 2023.

Need help complying with minimum rates of pay?

Payment of wages claims are among the most common employee complaints to the Workplace Relations Commission.

If your business operates in the construction sector, it’s important to comply with any applicable minimum pay rules.

For expert advice from one of our employment law experts, call us today on (01) 886 0350 or request a callback here.

Book a call with a consultant

Complete the form below and a consultant will call you as soon as possible.

Book a call with a consultant

Complete the form below and a consultant will call you as soon as possible.

Latest Resources

Notice periods: an employer’s guide

First published: April 26th, 2021Last updated: March 27th, 2023 Businesses are constantly having to adjust their workforce planning. Whether it’s employees looking for different career […]

Recruiting and retaining talented employees

Recruiting and retaining
First published: March 20th 2023 Last updated: March 20th 2023 In the current tight labour market conditions, attracting and retaining top talent is more critical […]

How to handle an employee appeal

handle employee appeal
First published: March 10th 2023 Last updated: March 10th 2023 Managing a disciplinary issue is a difficult scenario for an employer to handle. Even when […]

Olga Shevchenko

Director/Advocate, Immigration Advice Bureau

Olga Shevchenko specialises in immigration advocacy and consultancy, in particular, employment permit, visas, family reunification, citizenship, etc, for those seeking to visit, reside or invest in Ireland.

Olga provides extensive information, knowledge, and support to her clients, enabling access to positive solutions for people struggling to handle the immigration law.

Minister Neale Richmond

Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Neale Richmond TD was appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with special responsibility for Employment Affairs and Retail Business and the Department of Social Protection in January 2023.

Much of his work at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is with businesses, workers, their representative bodies and the State Agencies to ensure that the economic recovery and growth extends to all parts of the country. He works closely with the SME sector, including retail, on building resilience and on the transition to the green and digital economies.

Mark Carpenter

Director of Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, Sky

Mark Carpenter is Director of Regulatory & Corporate Affairs at Sky Ireland. In this role he has responsibility for External and Internal Communications, Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs and the company’s ‘Bigger Picture’ (CSR) programme. He also works closely with Sky Group teams on a variety of matters, in particular our partnerships with domestic broadcasters.

Prior to working at Sky, Mark worked as a Policy Officer in Houses of the Oireachtas and as a Management Consultant at Accenture. He has a BA in History from Oxford University and a PhD in Political Science from Trinity College Dublin.

Nora Cashe

Litigation and Compliance Manager, Peninsula

Nóra studied Law in Griffith College Dublin and qualified as a Barrister in 2008, practising in the area of Criminal law. She is also member of the Irish Employment Law Association.

Nora has extensive experience representing clients at Employment Tribunal hearings, Conciliation / Mediation meetings before both the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court. 

Nóra is a member of the Irish Employment Law Association and engages with the WRC Adjudication Service as part of their stakeholder engagement forum.

Deiric McCann

Managing Director, Genos International Europe

Deiric McCann leads Genos International Europe – The EU division of a world-leading provider of emotional intelligence solutions. 

With over two decades experience at the highest levels of management, Deiric supports clients to develop the resilience, emotional intelligence, psychological safety and engagements of their employees.

Rhiannon Coyne

Senior HR Consultant, Graphite HRM

Rhiannon Coyne is a Senior HR Consultant at Graphite HRM and will be providing an overview of best practice on how to deal with complaints of bullying and harassment in the workplace. 

With a number of recent updates to employment laws, Rhiannon will take a closer look at employment equality and how it is interlinked to Health & Safety and what employers can learn from recent case laws.

David Begg

Chairman, Workplace Relations Commission

David Begg was appointed Chairperson of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in January 2021.

David is also a professor at Maynooth University Institute of Social Sciences. Mr Begg’s extensive history in the trade union movement included leading the ESB Officers Association and Irish Congress of Trade Unions, stepping away from the latter in 2001 to chair international aid agency Concern.

David Begg was also previously a director of the Central Bank of Ireland between 1995 and 2010.