Kevin Duffy: Labour Court chair

The number of low-paid workers taking minimum wage claims to the Labour Court has more than doubled this year.

As the government prepares to introduce legislation by next June to cut the minimum wage from €8.65 an hour to €7.65 an hour, it has been revealed that 13 workers have pursued cases of non-payment of the legal minimum wage all the way to the Labour Court. This contrasts with six cases for last year.

Most cases are taken by non-Irish nationals employed in traditionally low- paid sectors such as restaurants, crèches and nursing homes.

In the latest case to come before the Labour Court last month, Nadya Nazipova, a childcare assistant employ­ed by Graceland Crèche and Montessori, said she worked 43 hours a week for 20 months on a salary of €15,600 a year.

Nazipova was originally employed as a cleaner but was later appointed as a childcare worker on the basis that she complete a Fetac Level 5 course on childcare development. Nazipova paid for the course herself and did it in her own time. Labour Court chairman Kevin Duffy awarded Nazipova €3,589.64 in compensation for underpayment.

Over €40,000 in compensation was paid to a waiter, Mosabber Hossain, who worked for three years for Tandoor Ltd. Hossain claimed he started off in 2006 on €150 a week for a 65?hours' work a week rising each year to €246 a week by 2008 for a 45-hour week.