Adopt progressive wage model, companies urged

The Manpower Ministry and Singapore National Employers Federation today both called on firms to implement progressive wage systems in their respective May Day messages.

"I urge employers to work with the unions to press on with progressive wages for their workers," said Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin in his message.

Echoing the call, SNEF president Stephen Lee said: "Management should also commit to uplifting their low-wage workers."

He singled out the cleaning, security, landscaping and hospitality sectors that are already working with the National Trades Union Congress on progressive wage models to increase wages through skills upgrading and higher productivity.

A progressive wage system, proposed by the labour movement, is meant to be a way to boost wages of the low-income by linking their pay to skills, thus allowing low-wage workers to earn higher pay after they have upgraded their skills through training.

Both MOM and SNEF's call came one day after Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said at the May Day Dinner Sunday night that the Government is doing more to help low-wage workers through the Workfare schemes.

The National Trades Union Congress celebrates Labour Day on May 1 on Wednesday with a rally at Downtown East which the Prime Minister is attending.