The Singapore government welcomes the National Wages Council (NWC)’s recommendations for employers to grant a built-in wage increase of $45 to $60 for workers earning a basic wage of up to $1,200.
In particular, the government supports the NWC’s move to build on the progress made by the five rounds of quantitative wage recommendations to raise the wage threshold and cover more low-wage workers.
This reinforces the continued efforts to improve wage outcomes for low-wage workers.
The government notes that the quantum of this year’s range reflects the uneven labour market outlook and business conditions, while encouraging employers to adopt the quantitative guidelines which now cover workers earning between $1,100 and $1,200.
Although all government employees are already earning above $1,200, the government will continue to lead by example as an employer and take reference from the NWC guidelines in its annual wage increment exercise.
The government recognizes that some low-wage workers are employed in outsourced work. For the NWC recommendations to be effective, buyers of outsourced services will need to play a part.
The government will continue to take the lead to best source, and strongly encourage service providers to the public sector to adopt NWC recommendations on wage increments for their workers.
As government procurement amounts to only a fraction of total spending on outsourced services, the Government urges employers and service buyers to do the same.
Focus on Deepening Skills and Transforming Jobs
The government also endorses the NWC’s focus on deepening skills and transforming jobs to enhance productivity and stay future-ready.
To ensure that 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.
Companies should also leverage the government’s Transform and Grow initiative to redesign jobs and transform through higher productivity in order to attain sustainable wage growth and stay competitive in the manpower-lean environment.
Workers can also 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.
The close cooperation among tripartite partners in the NWC has helped improve employment outcomes for workers while keeping our businesses resilient and competitive. With the strong commitment of the tripartite partners, the government is confident that the NWC 2017/2018 Guidelines will be successfully implemented.