Over 10,000 workers employed under the FairPrice Group (FPG) can expect improved productivity, clearer career pathways and better wages when the group rolls out the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) to its four social enterprises from 1 September 2022.
The PWM, announced by FPG on 28 August 2022, will provide a structured training framework for the group’s non-executive workers from NTUC FairPrice, NTUC Foodfare, Kopitiam, and NTUC Link.
Non-executive staff currently make up 75 per cent of FPG’s total workforce.
While the Singapore Government has always encouraged employers to use the principles of progressive wage for their foreign workforce, it was only made compulsory for Singapore citizens and permanent residents in specific sectors.
FPG said that the initiative will benefit full-time and part-time staff across the group’s businesses and corporate functions – regardless of nationality.
Beyond that, the implementation of the model to its food services and supply chain business precedes the PWM’s requirement for both industries.
With the implementation of the PWM, FPG hopes to raise the wages of non-executive staff to a level that aligns with their roles in their respective industries.
While companies are given six months to work on implementing the PWM, FPG Group CEO Vipul Chawla said that FPG will implement it right from the get-go, despite rising costs and inflation.
He said: “Our staff are our most important asset, and we value their dedication and service. As a provider of everything food, we want to move forward as one team and are therefore going the extra mile and extending the initiative beyond our retail business to include employees across all our various businesses in FPG.
“We believe that a motivated and empowered workforce will deliver the best care for our customers.”
FPG projects the implementation of the PWM to cost around $70 million over three years after Government subsidies.
NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng said that he was pleased that FairPrice Group has chosen to be the first mover for the implementation of the PWM to the supply chain and food services sector.
“We hope that this would inspire other companies to do more for our lower-wage workers,” he added.
FPG will provide its non-executive staff with more information on the implementation of the PWM in the coming weeks.
FPG’s adoption of the PWM for its retail staff is in line with the recommendations made by the Tripartite Cluster for Retail Industry on 15 August 2022.
The retail PWM covers over 46,000 full-time and part-time resident retail employees in Singapore, of which some 19,000 lower-wage workers in the sector are expected to benefit most from its implementation.