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What is the Progressive Wage Model

The Progressive Wage Model (PWM) helps to increase wages of workers through upgrading skills and improving productivity.

What is it

Developed by tripartite committees consisting of unions, employers and the government, the PWM helps to uplift lower-wage workers' wages.

Since being implemented, PWM sectors have raised wages at a sustainable and meaningful pace, without hurting the livelihoods of the lower-wage workers.

The PWM benefits workers by mapping out a clear career pathway for their wages to rise along with training and improvements in productivity and standards.

At the same time, higher productivity improves business profits for employers. Service buyers also enjoy better service standards and quality.

Who it covers

The PWM covers Singapore citizens and Singapore permanent residents (PRs) in the Sectoral PWs in cleaning, security, landscape, lift and escalator and retail job roles.

Employers are encouraged to use the principles of progressive wage for their foreign employees.

Since 1 September 2022, Progressive Wages (PWs) expanded to cover retail workers, and in-house cleaners, security officers and landscape maintenance employees.

Food services PWM and occupational PWs for administrators and drivers will be subsequently implemented from March 2023, while waste management PWM will be implemented from July 2023.

PWMs currently in effect

Sector PWM requirements took effect from
Cleaning sector
  • Extension to in-house cleaners
1 September 2014
1 September 2022
Security sector
  • Extension to in-house security officers
1 September 2016
1 September 2022
Landscape sector
  • Extension to in-house landscape maintenance employees
30 June 2016
1 September 2022
Lift and escalator sector 1 May 2019
Retail sector 1 September 2022

Find out more about upcoming Sectoral PWs and Occupational PWs .

How it is implemented

The PWM in the cleaning, security, landscape and lift and escalator sectors are regulated by their respective lead sector agencies through:

Sector Regulated by
Cleaning Licensing condition by NEA
Security Licensing condition by PLRD (SPF)
Landscape Landscape Company Register requirement by NParks
Lift and escalator Voluntary adoption during contractor registration requirement by BCA
Lift and escalator firms that tender to undertake Government contracts for lift maintenance will have to adopt PWM.

From 1 September 2022, the following are also implemented through employers' eligibility for work passes:

  • PWM in the cleaning, security, landscape, and retail sectors
  • Extension of the PWM to in-house cleaners, security officers and landscape maintenance employees
  • Local Qualifying Salary (LQS) requirement

Firms hiring foreign workers must comply with the PWM requirements for local employees covered by the respective PWMs and the LQS requirements for all other local employees, in order to renew existing work passes or apply for new work passes. Find out more on how to comply .

From September 2022 to February 2023, tripartite partners will focus on educating employers on the various PWM and LQS requirements. Employers will be given time to adjust and comply. Employers who do not comply with the requirements during this transitional period will not face enforcement action.

Help for employers

If you are an employer, you can tap on the Workfare Skills Support scheme to offset a significant portion of the training costs for your Singaporean employees.

Visit the Business Grants Portal if you want to:

  • Apply for support for job redesign.
  • Raise productivity and build capabilities for sustainable growth.

From 2022 to 2026, the Government is co-funding eligible wage increases given to lower-wage workers through the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme. Employers are encouraged to use this period of support to accelerate firm-level productivity improvements.