Forum: Give incentives to businesses that provide better welfare to low-wage workers

I refer to the article, "Tripartite work group looking at all options in improving support for lower-wage workers" (ST Online, July 24), on helping lower-wage workers.

Businesses can be further incentivised to take on larger roles in providing for the welfare of their low-wage workers.

First, there could be a nationally recognised trust mark that gives accreditation to companies which adopt an "employee first" philosophy and integrate processes that put progressive practices into action.

These progressive practices could be built on top of increasing wages of workers, and could include companies investing in employees' growth, creating a nourishing working environment and robust feedback channels.

Second, companies which are accredited could be given preferential treatment with business contracts.

This would translate into economic incentives for the companies which do more for their low-wage workers, and might make it easier to bring more potential companies on board.

Third, Progressive Wage Model-related trade associations and statutory boards, such as Enterprise Singapore, could structure grants and incentives to be given to businesses which have such progressive practices. Thus, the qualifying rubric could include such a component.

This will rightly signal to businesses that such practices are being highlighted and will hopefully get more businesses to do the same.

While businesses should ideally do more for their workers out of goodwill alone, these proposed incentives will do more to bring about such an alignment.

Abhishek Bajaj

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