SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Local retail workers are set to get salary increases of 8.4 per cent to 8.5 per cent annually over the next three years under a proposed wage ladder to boost low wages in the sector.
This is expected to take effect from Sept 1 this year to Aug 31, 2025.
The wage increase is one of the recommendations announced by the Tripartite Cluster for Retail Industry (TCR) on Monday (Aug 15) under the Progressive Wage Model (PWM).
Other key recommendations include minimum training requirements for all retail job roles under the model and a clear career progression pathway.
The PWM is a wage ladder that sets out the minimum monthly salary for local low-wage workers based on their skills and training. It will cover 46,000 full-time and part-time retail workers who are Singaporeans or permanent residents.
The Government will co-fund the salary increases under the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme. The scheme was announced during this year's Budget to provide transitional wage support for employers.
To help retailers cope with the increase in costs, the Government will co-fund 75 per cent of the salary increase for workers with gross monthly wages of up to S$2,500 in 2022, and 45 per cent for workers with gross monthly wages of $2,500 to $3,000.
Labour MP and TCR chair Yeo Wan Ling said at the announcement that the retail industry employs about 87,000 Singaporean and permanent resident employees, constituting 4.5 per cent of all such employees in Singapore.
The wage ladder will help provide retail workers with a clear career progression pathway, she said.
"It would help them grow with the evolving retail industry, and help retail firms retain and attract new entrants," she said.
Introduced in 2012, the PWM has already been implemented in the cleaning, security and landscape sectors, as well as for those in lift and escalator maintenance.
A PWM for the waste management industry was announced in January this year and will raise the wages of workers in the sector from 2023 to 2028.
Labour MPs have called for the model to be extended to more sectors such as strata and facilities management as well as pest management.