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An Additional 197,000 Workers to Benefit from Progressive Wages from 1 September

Workers to benefit from progressive wages include lower-wage workers in companies that hire foreigners and in-house cleaners, security officers and landscape workers.
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The latest spate of progressive-wage implementations will add an additional 197,000 lower-wage employees to the list of workers to benefit from higher wages.

One new requirement will involve all firms employing foreign workers to pay their full-time local workers a Local Qualifying Salary (LQS) of at least $1,400 from 1 September 2022.

A press release issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on 31 August 2022 said that some 159,000 full-time lower-wage workers in sectors not covered by the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) are expected to benefit from the LQS. 

Meanwhile, the Government will extend the PWM to cover more than just outsourced workers, but also an additional 19,000 in-house cleaners, security, and landscape workers.

The Retail PWM will also come into effect on 1 September 2022 impacting some 19,000 workers, as announced by tripartite partners on 15 August 2022.

MOM said: “To foster a more inclusive society and ensure no worker is left behind, the Government will continue to build on tripartite efforts to uplift lower-wage workers.

“We encourage all employers to continue supporting their lower-wage workers to upskill and upgrade.”

Following MOM’s announcement, NTUC Director Fahmi Aliman took to Facebook to say that much progress has been made since NTUC first mooted the PWM in 2012, and that the congress will continue to work towards better wages, welfare and work prospects for lower-wage workers.

“The whole of society support is needed, involving government, business and end-consumers, where everyone can play their part to uplift lower-wage workers, helping them to earn better wages, welfare and work prospects.

A total of 221,000 full-time lower-wage workers in Singapore will benefit from progressive wages once the new moves come into effect.

What Employers Need to Know

With the new PWM requirements, employers need to assess if their workers are performing a job role covered by a PWM.

They can do this by referring to the PWM job descriptions on MOM’s website.

Additionally, employers need to update and submit their workers’ PWM job roles, if any, through MOM’s Occupational Employment Dataset (OED) portal.

From September 2022 to February 2023, tripartite partners hope to use this time to educate employers on the various progressive wage requirements.

All employers will be given time to adjust to the changes, and there will be no enforcement action taken against employers till the end of February 2023.

“Employers are urged to use this period of support from the Government to accelerate firm-level productivity improvements, so that the wage increases remain sustainable for employers in the long run,” said MOM.

The Government will also co-fund the wage increases given to lower-wage workers through the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme.