SINGAPORE - FairPrice will be implementing the progressive wage model (PWM) across all its businesses from Thursday (Sept 1), the supermarket chain announced on Sunday.
The move is expected to benefit more than 10,000 non-executive staff - comprising both full-timers and part-timers - across FairPrice Group's businesses, which include FairPrice supermarkets as well as the Foodfare and Kopitiam foodcourts.
This comes ahead of the requirement for the PWM - which sets out a wage ladder for workers to get better pay pegged to skills and training - for both the food services and supply chain sectors, said the group, which is a social enterprise under the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).
The PWM for the food services industry will come into effect in March next year, with NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng saying last year that the labour movement would push for the model to be introduced for specific vocations, such as logistics drivers.
"While companies have six months to work on the implementation of PWM, we expedited and implemented it right from the get-go despite rising cost pressures and inflation," said FairPrice Group chief executive Vipul Chawla, adding that a "motivated and empowered" workforce would best serve its customers.
The PWM framework will provide its staff with a clearer career pathway to upgrade themselves and become more productive, leading to potentially higher wages, it said in a media statement.
FairPrice added that the initiative is expected to cost the group about $70 million over three years, taking into consideration government subsidies.
The move complemented its holistic approach to developing its workforce by "encouraging lifelong learning to strengthen skill sets, improving productivity and fostering a fulfilling career for staff", it added.
The wages of non-executive staff - who make up about 75 per cent of FairPrice's 13,000-strong workforce - will also rise to a level "in line with their roles for their respective industries", the group said.
The move will enable them to earn higher wages given the higher cost of living, said Mr Ng on Sunday, noting that NTUC has always championed lower-wage workers.
Details of the initiative will be shared at a staff townhall, with non-executive staff to progressively receive more information in the weeks to come.
Implementation of the initiative was done in close consultation with the Food, Drinks and Allied Workers Union, Fairprice said.
The union's general secretary, Mr Tan Hock Soon, said he looked forward to a continued partnership with FairPrice to benefit workers.
"We hope this will inspire other companies to do more for our lower-wage workers," said Mr Ng.