National Wages Council recommends $50-$65 wage increase for low-wage workers

National Wages Council recommends $50-$65 wage increase for low-wage workers

SINGAPORE - With an uncertain economic outlook and challenging business environment ahead, the National Wages Council (NWC) has recommended that businesses here reward their workers with built-in wage increases based on their business prospects for the coming year.

The NWC said at a press conference on Tuesday (May 31) that its 2016 guidelines will recommend that employers provide built-in wage increases ranging from $50 to $65 for low-wage workers earning up to $1,100. This is revised from its 2015 recommendation of a $60 monthly increase for workers in the same category.

Last year, 18 per cent of employers who hired low-wage workers gave increments equal to or more than the NWC's recommended increase of $60, down from the 31 per cent who gave increments to workers earning up to $1,000 in 2014. The wage threshold was changed from $1,000 to $1,1000 last year.

However, the NWC also noted that the proportion of full-time employed resident employees earning up to $1,100 a month has decreased from 8.2 per cent in 2014 to 6.9 per cent last year.

The council said that employers who have done well financially and have good business prospects should reward their workers with built-in wage increases and other variable payments corresponding with their performance.

Those who have done well but face uncertain prospects should, however, exercise moderation with wage increases but still reward their workers corresponding with the firm's good performance. On the other hand, employers who have not done well and wish to exercise wage restraints should start doing so from the management level, NWC said.

ljessica@sph.com.sg

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