SINGAPORE: At the 10th anniversary of the Progressive Wage Model (PWM), the government’s scheme that raises the pay of lower-wage workers, Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad said that the programme is under review.

“We are reviewing the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme and the Local Qualifying Salary to enhance support for employers and lower-wage workers. We will press on to leave no worker behind,” he added.

The Senior Minister of State for Manpower added that more details will be announced at the budget rollout on Feb 16.

In 2022, with the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme, the government disbursed around S$1 billion of PWCS funding to 70,000 employers, who gave wage increases to more than 345,000 workers. This has meant a median monthly wage increase of about S$300.

“Our Progressive Wages initiatives now benefit up to 9 in 10 lower-wage workers to improve their salaries and career prospects,” he wrote in a Facebook post on Monday (Jan 29).

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Mr Zaqy also announced that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has launched the Progressive Wage Portal, which enables lower-wage workers to check if their wages meet the PWM requirements.

In his Jan 26 speech, he highlighted the gains made by PWM workers in the Cleaning, Security and Landscape, Waste Management, Retail, and Food Services PWMs sectors over the years, thanks to the stakeholders’ efforts.

“In the next few years, we expect even more significant wage increases,” he added.

Mr Zaqy also underlined the dangers of income inequality to society, which Singapore should not experience.

“In Singapore, our model of tripartism has shown that it can and will continue to find innovative solutions such as the Workfare, PWM, and LQS, to protect our lower-wage workers.

This must be our social compact – that everyone has the opportunity to make a good living as long as they work hard, and all of us do our part to support those who need a leg up. And as Singapore prospers, our workers should progress and no one gets left behind.,” he added.

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Citing the basic wage requirements for general cleaners as an example, he said that their pay will have grown by 85 per cent to S$2,420 in 2028 since it was at S$1,312 in 2022. /TISG

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