Over the weekend, a lovely and bubbly Member of Parliament (MP) and her team of volunteers were busy greeting and blessing a group of retail staff. Armed with a bright smile and welfare goodie bags, they visited retail workers at Koufu, Ang Mo Supermarket and BBBURGERS, amongst other shops in Punggol! This initiative was done in conjunction with NTUC’s 60th birthday, which falls on 6th Sept!
Apart from gifting them the goodie bags and brightening their day, Labour MP Yeo Wan Ling wanted to inform these staff about the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) that has been introduced to the retail and food services sector. In her Facebook post, she gave a brief introduction about the PWM and shared that she has been visiting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to share more about PWM and what it entails.
What is the Progressive Wage Model?
The Progressive Wage Model (PWM) is a wage ladder that aims to uplift the salaries of local workers. It also gives them opportunities to get promoted as they attend upskilling and take on a wider job scope. During the recent National Day Rally (NDR), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has just announced that the PWM will be implemented in new sectors like retail and food services over the next two years! This means that more retail and F&B staff will see a structured career progression and pay increment over the years!
This will definitely be good news to them and debunk the oft-heard myth that there is little progression in retail jobs. It could also attract more talent to the sector full-time as retail tends to be a part-time job for students.
It takes everyone’s cooperation
If PWM is so good and helps uplift the salaries of local workers, why hasn’t it been implemented more quickly and widely?
It has taken some time for the PWM to be implemented in some sectors as it needs the cooperation of both the employers and consumers. The truth is, the money has to come from somewhere. As Singapore looks to give higher salaries to lower wage workers, both employers and consumers have to be willing to give more for that to happen. Hence, engagements with SMEs, like what MP Yeo Wan Ling is doing, is important to explain to them the benefits of the PWM and how it can benefit workers.
Thankfully, during the NDR, PM Lee also shared about the PW Mark. This is to recognise companies that have implemented the PWM and are paying their employees fair wages. With this, companies may be more encouraged to go onboard the PWM as they are acknowledged for it. In addition, consumers also have a choice to support these companies and brands that are more ethical and support fair wages for lower wage workers.
Onwards to a future with fairer wages
With the Government’s encouragement and buy-in from employers and consumers, more workers can look forward to better career progression and salaries! Even as the PWM has shown to be effective in raising the tangible wages of local workers, the battle is not yet won! We hope to see more sectors continue to implement the PWM in the near future!