Progressive wage model expanded to food services & retail sectors, could cover up to 80,000 more local workers

The Tripartite Workgroup has agreed to extend the PWM to the food services and retail sectors.

Nyi Nyi Thet | March 03, 2021, 02:32 PM

Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad said the government aims to have some form of Progressive Wage Model for all sectors in Singapore.

His comments on the PWM came during the Committee of Supply debate for the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on March 3, 2021.

According to him, the Tripartite Workgroup has agreed to extend the PWM to the food services and retail sectors.

These sectors are among those with the largest numbers of lower- wage workers.

He estimates that these PWMs could cover up to 80,000 local workers.

The workgroup also recognises NTUC’s aspirations for the PWMs to be implemented within two to three years.

We have convened Tripartite Cluster committees for each of these sectors, which will recommend an implementation timeline, taking on board all stakeholders’ concerns.

The Tripartite Cluster committees will target to submit their recommendations on the timeline and other implementation details to the government by the end of this year.

All cleaners, security officers and landscape workers of licensed or registered cleaning, security and landscape firms are being paid at least PWM wages.

Zaqy said he was confident that local workers in the two new sectors under PWM will see a "meaningful uplift" to their wages in time to come.

In response to questions from MPs Louis Ng and Fahmi Aliman, Zaqy reinforced the government's "ambition" to eventually cover all sectors with progressive wages, on top of Workfare as a fundamental layer of support for low wage workers.

They are starting with sectors with the highest proportions of low wage workers in the workforce.

Currently, PWM covers about 85,000 workers.

Image from MCI