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Progressive wage model good but can go further

Given the increasingly high cost of living here, it is necessary to ensure that low-income workers earn enough to maintain at least a basic standard of decent living.

The progressive wage model (PWM) has been a huge step in the right direction, although there are clearly ways to progress further ("Maximum result, 'minimum' input" and "The cleaner: Lower-wage staff lose out"; both published last Sunday).

The PWM does well in setting a sort of minimum wage across various sectors and industries. This should certainly be expanded to other sectors.

While white-collar workers typically get salary increments with promotions that come with expanded and heavier job responsibilities, the same does not happen for blue-collar workers, whose jobs will remain largely the same over the years.

For them, salary increments should be, at the minimum, pegged to the rate of inflation.

Exemplary performance could and should be rewarded with additional bonuses.

The tender system to engage such services also needs to be tackled.

Companies would naturally count cost as one influential factor in selecting a service provider.

However, this should not come at the cost of the service staff, and the engaging company should ensure that its contractors adhere to the PWM for that sector.

As Singapore progresses and prospers, let us ensure that no one is left behind.

Adam Reutens-Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 26, 2016, with the headline 'Progressive wage model good but can go further'. Print Edition | Subscribe