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Tripartite workgroup agrees to extend progressive wage model to food services, retail sectors: Zaqy Mohamad

Tripartite workgroup agrees to extend progressive wage model to food services, retail sectors: Zaqy Mohamad

Shoppers pass by luxury brand shops at Orchard Road. (Photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: The Tripartite Workgroup on Lower-Wage Workers will develop recommendations for progressive wage models in the retail and food services sector, Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad said in Parliament on Wednesday (Mar 3).

This comes after he said in February that the Government was mulling extending the model to both industries. 

In his Committee of Supply speech, Mr Zaqy, who chairs the workgroup, said these models could cover up to 80,000 workers. The workgroup will submit their recommendations on the timeline and implementation to the Government by the end of this year.

Currently, the existing progressive wage models covering the cleaning, security and landscape industries cover 85,000 workers.

“The workgroup also recognises NTUC’s (National Trades Union Congress) aspirations for the PWMs to be implemented within two to three years,” Mr Zaqy said. 

The progressive wage model is a policy designed to raise the salaries of low-wage workers by upgrading their skills and increasing their productivity. The scheme started in 2015. 

READ: Singapore could expand progressive wage model to retail sector

The progressive wage model will take effect in the lifts and escalator maintenance sector next year, and will be applied to the waste management sector next.

The workgroup will also look into extending the progressive wage model to in-house cleaning, security and landscape workers, covering another 50,000 workers.

READ: Up to 3,000 workers in waste management sector to benefit from new progressive wage model

Separately, the Government will be launching an Alliance for Action (AfA) targeted at low-wage workers, Mr Zaqy said.

This group will bring together community stakeholders keen to start ground-up projects to uplift lower-wage workers, such as campaigns to appreciate low-wage workers and initiatives to improve their working environments, the Ministry of Manpower said in a factsheet on Wednesday. 

“We will launch the AfA soon and run co-creation workshops for AfA members over the next six months to start these ground-up initiatives,” Mr Zaqy said.

Source: CNA/rp

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