SINGAPORE: On Jan 26, a new online portal for workers was launched. The Progressive Wage Portal (PW Portal) allows lower-wage workers to independently verify that they receive accurate compensation.

The newly launched PW Portal, accessible at go.gov.sg/pw-portal, helps workers confirm if they are being accurately paid and provides details on the relevant wage requirements based on the worker’s PWM job role or LQS coverage.

Employees can cross-check if their tagged job role aligns with their responsibilities and confirm if their employer is following the correct payment.

In the event of inaccuracies, workers are encouraged to engage with their employers for resolution. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is available for additional assistance if needed.

Additionally, workers will receive reminders when annual PWM wage increases come into effect for their specific sector and occupation.

According to The Straits Times, this user-friendly platform enables employees to assess whether their wages align with the applicable Progressive Wage Model (PWM) or Local Qualifying Salary (LQS) requirements. Moreover, workers can access information about the PWM job levels their employers assign.

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The PWM functions as a structured wage ladder, connecting pay increments to training and productivity. Meanwhile, the LQS sets a wage threshold established by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for companies hiring foreign workers.

Senior Minister of State Zaqy Mohamad emphasised that the PW Portal is designed for workers covered under the PWM and LQS schemes, a group of 234,000 full-time employees with lower wages.

Anticipating more substantial wage increases in the coming years, he cited an example: “For instance, the basic wage requirements for general cleaners will surge by 85% in just six years, from $1,312 in 2022 to $2,420 in 2028.”

The government allocated approximately S$1 billion for wage increases in 2022 via the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme. This funding co-supported pay raises initiated by around 70,000 employers for over 345,000 employees.

According to MOM, the median monthly wage increase, backed by the scheme, was around S$300.

During the launch event, Senior Minister Zaqy Mohamad highlighted the narrowing income gap between lower-wage and median workers. However, he acknowledged the challenges, stating, “The reality is that it’s going to get harder to continue narrowing this gap.”

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He added, “Because the median worker is more skilled, they have more propensity for career growth, so it’s easier to bring up their wages as compared to lower-wage workers… So tripartism needs to continue, and we need to continue working to narrow this gap.”

NTUC deputy secretary-general Desmond Tan emphasised the importance of collective efforts, urging consumers to play their part by supporting better remuneration for lower-wage workers.

“Nobody disagrees that lower-wage workers should be better supported, but are we prepared to pay a little more for services so that lower-wage workers can receive better remuneration? In all facets of the tripartism process, society must chip in to make PWM work,” he said. /TISG

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