A group representing smaller businesses says they can't afford to pay staff a Living Wage of €11.50 per hour.
Tánaiste Joan Burton says she want all employers, including the Government, to pay this amount which an expert group says is the minimum rate which would allow people a decent standard of living.
Some small businesses say they wouldn't survive introducing the measure.
Director of the Small Firms Association Patricia Callan says many don't make enough profit for such a jump in wages: "You're looking in micro-businesses which is the majority of between 10 and 20 thousand euros a year.
"Many business owners still have not paid themselves what would be an equivalent rate of pay in terms of an employee, so we are very clear that this is something that isn't even an employer's responsibility.
"Certainly as citizens we are all concerned about things like housing and education and everybody having a better quality of life, but we think that those issues should be tackled at a macro level which is what the government should do."