NWC submits $60 wage hike proposal for low-wage workers

It suggested an increase of around $50 to $65 for workers earning a basic monthly salary of up to $1,1000.

Picture for representation
Office workers head for lunch at central business district in Singapore. Reuters

Low-wage earners in Singapore can earn up to $60 more if firms adopt the new standards set forth by the National Wages Council (NWC). The NWC has recommended an increase of $45 to $60 for such workers earning a basic monthly wage of up to $1,200.

To recall, the wages council proposed several pay increments last year. It suggested an increase of around $50 to $65 for workers earning a basic monthly salary of up to $1,1000. According to the council, the flexibility the range has provided resulted in an adoption rate of 21%, higher than the 18% seen in 2015.

"With the labour market outlook and business conditions remaining uneven across sectors, the NWC sees merit in continuing to set a range for the recommended wage increases," NWC said in a statement.

More so, NWC suggested that employers bestow built-in wage increase in the form of a dollar quantum and a percentage, to give the low-wage workers a higher percentage built-in wage increase. For low-wage workers receiving more than $1,200 monthly, NWC sees it ideal for employers to grant them increased based on skills and productivity.

The Singapore government has expressed its support for the said wage scheme being forwarded by council

In a statement, MOM said it endorses the NWC's focus on deepening skills and transforming jobs to enhance productivity and stay future-ready.

"To ensure that our businesses capture growth opportunities, the Government will work together with employers and unions to press on with implementing the recommendations of the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE), in each sector through the Industry Transformation Maps. This will help to provide better quality jobs and good wages for Singaporeans," the labour ministry said.

However, it pointed out the need to ensure adequate support for these workers affected by economic restructuring amidst the transformation of business to raise productivity.

"Workers can tap on the support under the Adapt and Grow and SkillsFuture initiatives to continually refresh their skills to take advantage of opportunities in the future economy," MOM stressed.