We give you the lowdown on the criteria for structured training and how to calculate the ‘trainee rate’ of pay accordingly…

Structured training is a course of study or training that allows an employer to place an employee on a training rate of pay for the duration of the course.

The criteria for a prescribed course of study or training for the purposes of section 16 of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000 are:

(1) The employee’s participation in the course is directed or approved by the employer.

(2) The duration of the course is for a minimum period of 3 calendar months.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4), the course takes place during the normal working hours of the employee.

(4) The course involves at least 10% of directed study or training, which may be within or outside of normal working hours.

(5) The employer pays any fees concerned with the employee’s participation in the course.

(6) The course –

(a) enables the acquisition of skills and/or knowledge expected to enhance the work performance of the employee at the end of the course,

(b) includes directed study or training and workplace training.

(c) involves supervision of the employee during workplace training,

(d) includes a system of recording progress and results. This must be kept by the employer for 3 years after the end of the employee’s participation in the course at the premises or place where the employee works,

(e) includes an assessment and certification procedure or written confirmation of the employee’s completion of the course identifying the level of employee attainment against the objectives, which must include the employee’s signature.

(7) The course is the subject of a pre-existing written document or documents detailing the following information:

(a) its title and purpose,

(b) its objectives,

(c) an outline plan of duration and approach,

(d) the record system to apply,

(e) the assessment and certification procedure,

(f) advice by the employer of any facilities, including any time-off, to be given to the employee during the period of the employee’s participation in the course to help the employee to successfully complete the course, and any changes to the employee’s working arrangements during the period of the employee’s participation in the course.

Rates of pay

If the training course meets the above criteria, the employer will be eligible to pay the employee the trainee rates of pay, which are:

1st one-third period = €6.93 per working hour

2nd one-third period = €7.40 per working hour

3rd one-third period = €8.32 per working hour

Please note that:

  • Each one-third period must be at least one month and no longer than twelve months.
  • An employer cannot pay an employee the trainee rates for a second time, even if the worker changes
  • It can only be done when an employee undergoes a course of study or training that is different in purpose or content from the previous study or training.

Should you require additional clarification or assistance, please don’t hesitate to call our Advice Line on 01 855 5050.