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Government Accepts National Wages Council’s Recommendations For 2015/2016

  1. The Government has accepted the recommendations of the National Wages Council (NWC) for 2015/2016.
  2. The Government endorses the NWC’s focus on skills to ignite productivity growth and sustain wage increases. The labour market is expected to remain tight in 2015 and this will place some upward pressure on wages. Raising productivity is essential for wage growth to be sustainable and to enhance Singapore’s economic competitiveness. 
  3. The Government supports the NWC’s recommendation that real wage increases should be in line with productivity growth over the long term, and that employers should share productivity gains fairly with workers and in a sustainable manner. The Government urges employers, unions and workers to work together towards this goal. 
  4. Quality growth driven by productivity and innovation is important if our economy is to restructure towards higher value-added activities, and generate higher wages for our workers. In particular, skills will be a critical enabler for our national productivity efforts. Through SkillsFuture, the Government will provide strong support to help all Singaporeans develop to their fullest potential towards better jobs and careers.
  5. The Government supports the NWC’s recommendation for employers to grant a built-in wage increase of at least $60 for workers earning a basic monthly salary of up to $1,100. This makes it clear that there should be continued efforts to improve wage outcomes for low-wage workers. 
  6. The Government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to help low-wage workers improve their wages. This includes strong funding for skills upgrading through the Workfare Training Support (WTS) Scheme. The Government recognises the need to complement these efforts with the direct commitment of employers to improve wages. 
  7. The Government also recognises that for the NWC recommendations to be effective, buyers of outsourced services will also need to play a part. The Government will lead by example, both as an employer and also as a service buyer. It will continue to take reference from the NWC guidelines in its annual wage adjustment exercise, and strongly encourage service suppliers to the public sector to adopt NWC recommendations on wage increments for their workers. 
  8. The Government supports the NWC’s recommendation for employers and unions to work towards restructuring employer medical benefits to portable medical benefits to improve the cost-effectiveness of medical expenses, especially as MediShield Life will provide all employees who are Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents with the basic portable layer of healthcare insurance from end-2015. 
  9. Tripartite cooperation continues to be key to Singapore’s development. As we commemorate our 50th year of independence, the Government recognises the enormous contribution of workers and companies to Singapore. The Government welcomes the calls by the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) and National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) for employers to recognise the contributions of their employees to celebrate SG50. As an employer, the Government will consider appropriate ways to recognise public officers’ contributions towards nation building. 
  10. The Government is confident that with our strong tripartite cooperation, all three parties will work together to adopt the 2015/2016 NWC guidelines, so that workers are rewarded for their contributions, while our companies remain resilient and competitive. 
Last Updated: 27 November 2015