SINGAPORE: Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan—Jin said whether the National Wages Council (NWC) continues presenting quantitative recommendations depends on how the wage situation unfolds in the coming years.
Member of Parliament for Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency Alex Yam pointed out in parliament that the NWC had provided quantitative recommendations this year, which is a slight deviation from previous years.
The NWC had recommended specifically that employers grant a built—in wage increase of at least S$50 to workers earning a basic monthly salary of up to S$1,000.
The Acting Minister said while it is too early to know the full impact of the Guidelines, indications from the Singapore National Employers Federation and the National Trades Union Congress are that employers have generally been supportive of this recommendation.
Mr Yam wanted to know if such recommendations, especially for low wage workers, will be the way forward for the next five years.
Mr Tan said: "This year there has been a slight deviation in specifying not just in quantitative terms but in specific dollar terms. Whether this becomes a norm depends on how we see the situation unfolding in the coming years. If there continues to be a need for that, I think the NWC would consider in future whether to specify a quantum. As with all things, we would look at the situation to see how the income progresses at the different levels."
Mr Tan stressed that the NWC is not a static institution and that it will continue to evolve and fine tune its recommendations to meet the changing economic and social needs of the country.
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