Security sector led way in pledging NWC pay hikes for low-wage workers

June 3, 201610:27 am385 views

SINGAPORE — Companies providing administrative and support services led the way in pledging to give wage increments to workers earning up to S$1,100 a month last year.

About two-thirds (63.1 per cent) of firms in this industry signalled their intention, but of these, only half (34.6 per cent) met the National Wages Council’s (NWC) recommendation of a monthly wage increment of a minimum S$60 for low-wage workers.

“This was driven by the security sector, where more establishments raised the basic wages of their low-wage employees to meet the requirements of the Progressive Wage Model, that will be made mandatory from September 2016,” said the Ministry of Manpower, in its wage practices report released yesterday.

Firms in the real estate services (59.8 per cent) and accommodation and food services (54.4 per cent) industries followed close behind in intending to or giving some form of increment.

The industry which fared the worst was community, social and personal services (39.3 per cent). Only 13.6 per cent of firms gave increments according to the NWC guidelines.

Data from the information and communications, financial and insurance services, and professional services industries was not available due to their small size.

Across the economy, 46 per cent of private companies gave or intended to give increments to their workers with a maximum monthly salary of S$1,100.

Of the remaining firms that decided against pay increments, nearly half said they were already paying the market rate. Other reasons cited included performing poorly, impacting on business or wage costs, and poor employee performance.

In its guidelines last year, the NWC recognised that many low-wage workers dealt in outsourced work, and stressed that the council’s recommendations should be incorporated into the contracts of these workers.

The MOM report stated that 68 per cent of private firms with workers in outsourced jobs earning up to S$1,100 a month pledged to give them wage increments, but ultimately, only 42 per cent followed the NWC’s guidelines.

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