IRELAND will introduce a minimum wage of IR£4.40 (£3.77) from April 2000, the Irish government has decided.
The national wage agreement, Partnership 2000, will have expired by then and a new agreement will have been negotiated.
Wages in the hospitality industry are agreed through Joint Labour Committees (JLCs).
The Restaurants Association of Ireland said its wage rates were index-linked under the JLC agreement and by 2000 would be above the minimum rate in any case.
Under the minimum wage regulations, young people under 18 years of age, trainees, and apprentices will be entitled to 70% of the national rate.