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Tripartite partners celebrate a decade of Progressive Wage Model; Reinforce commitment to uplift lower-wage workers

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the PWM, MOM also launched the Progressive Wage Portal, allowing lower-wage workers to check their wage information and find out if they are paid according to the relevant PWM requirements.

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By Kay del Rosario 26 Jan 2024
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In collaboration with NTUC and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) organised on 26 January 2024 the commemorative event "Uplifting Lower-Wage Workers through Tripartism" as a significant step towards reinforcing the well-being of lower-wage workers in Singapore.


The event, held at Furama City Centre Singapore, marked a decade of successful implementation of the Progressive Wage Model (PWM), a testament to Singapore’s unique approach in addressing wage disparities.


The event was attended by key tripartite representatives including NTUC Deputy Secretary-General Desmond Tan and Manpower Senior Minister of State Zaqy Mohamad and served as a platform to reflect on the journey and future directions of the PWM initiative.


Guests from the Tripartite Workgroup on Lower-Wage Workers, tripartite clusters, and National Wages Council were present to celebrate this milestone.


A whole-of-society effort


In a fireside chat during the event, Mr Tan emphasised NTUC’s ongoing commitment to lower- wage workers and thanked the other tripartite partners for the efforts they’ve put in over the years to uplift this group of workers.


“I know the work behind the scenes to come to this kind of consensus is really not easy. So really, kudos to all of you for your hard work,” he said.


Mr Tan also highlighted NTUC’s role in mooting the PWM and Career Progression Model, which ensure that workers benefit from career progression and better livelihoods.


Moving forward, he said that NTUC will deepen efforts to support more lower-wage workers and workers in skilled essential trades, but that caring for them should be a shared effort.


“The tripartite partners plus all of society must chip in to make this work,” said Mr Tan.




The PWM advantage


Mr Zaqy, in his opening remarks, reflected on the significant progress made since the introduction of PWM.


“As Singapore prospers, our workers should progress and no worker gets left behind,” he said.


He also underscored the importance of the tripartite partnership in addressing wage stagnation, particularly in sectors serving the domestic market.


Mr Zaqy praised the PWM for enabling workers in outsourced sectors like cleaning, security, and landscape maintenance to enjoy wage growth higher than the median worker.


Also at the fireside chat with Mr Tan and Mr Zaqy was SNEF Deputy Honorary-Secretary Felix Loh. The discussion was moderated by MOM Senior Director for Labour Relations and Workplace Division Then Yee Thong.


Enhancing support for PWM


One of the critical aspects of the PWM initiative highlighted during the event was the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme (PWCS).


Introduced in Singapore Budget 2022, the PWCS provides transitional support to employers for wage increases to lower-wage employees, further boosting the PWM’s effectiveness.


Mr Zaqy mentioned that the Government is reviewing the PWCS further to enhance support. Details will be announced at the upcoming Budget 2024.


Additionally, the event launched the newly developed Progressive Wage (PW) Portal, an online platform that allows workers to check their wage information and ensure compliance with PWM requirements.


As the event concluded, all panelists urged the continuation of the collaborative spirit of tripartism, emphasising that the journey towards a more inclusive society where every worker enjoys the fruits of growth is ongoing.