In his Budget Debate speech on 1 March 2022, NTUC Operations Department Director Fahmi Aliman urged the Government to expand the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) to the strata and facilities management and pest management sectors.
“NTUC has conducted several engagements with stakeholders in the respective sectors, and response has been very encouraging thus far,” he said.
Mr Fahmi also suggested that the Government ensures the sustainability of PWM wage increases by incentivising service buyers from the private sector to adopt outcome-based contracting.
Consumers and service buyers can do their part in taking care of the welfare of outsourced workers, he added.
“Consumers and service buyers should also become more socially responsible and reject service providers that provide services at low cost, but at the expense of the welfare of such essential service workers.
“Instead, service buyers should adopt an outcome-based contracting model, where contracts are awarded to companies with progressive employment practices that give due recognition to workers, rather than basing these decisions on price alone,” he said.
Mr Fahmi also suggested that the Government provides funding for trade associations to engage consultants to develop an outcome-based contracts guide.
“Depending on the industry, the consultants would develop bespoke guides for employers in varying industries. By incentivising private sector employers to implement outcome-based contracts, due recognition can be accorded to our workers, ensure they can progress and perform higher-value roles, and our PWM wage increases will be more sustainable in the long run," he said.
The Progressive Wage Credit Scheme (PWCS) was also a point Mr Fahmi raised in his speech.
He asked the Government how new sectors incorporated into the PWM between 2025 and 2026 will be supported, and if the Government will make special provisions for these industries.
“The introduction of the PWCS is a step in the right direction and will go a long way in uplifting and supporting lower-wage workers. Having said that, at NTUC, we are cognisant that efforts to help lower-wage workers is a long-term strategy.
“As more sectors and occupations are incorporated into the PWM, there will be a greater need to re-think the duration of transitory support new sectors will receive under the PWCS beyond 2026.”
Mr Fahmi also reiterated the Labour Movement’s call for the Government to consider mandating electronic payment of salary for migrant workers to protect them from exploitation.
“Electronic payment has greatly assisted workers in recovering their salaries during salary disputes. Mandating electronic payment of salaries would thus reduce room for abuse and protect workers from exploitation. Besides, I follow a long line of Labour MPs who have called for the electronic payment of salaries,” he said.
To ensure migrant workers are insured within and beyond the workplace, Mr Fahmi also called on the Government to mandate or incentivise companies to sponsor the NTUC Migrant Workers’ Centre’s Associate Membership fee for their migrant workers.
“NTUC has perennially been advocating for enhanced medical coverage for the welfare and safety of our migrant workers ... At NTUC, we strongly believe that our migrant workers deserve to be insured against risks within and beyond the workplace,” he said.