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Statement by Minister for Manpower Mrs Josephine Teo on the National Wages Council 2020/2021 Guidelines

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic presents significant challenges to our economy.
  2. he Government’s immediate priority is to save jobs, support workers and protect their livelihoods. Altogether, the Government is dedicating close to $55 billion to support our workers and businesses. The Resilience Budget announced by Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Heng Swee Keat, last week includes an additional $48 billion worth of support measures. This comes on top of the $6.4 billion in the Unity Budget committed towards the Stabilisation and Support Package, the Care and Support Package, and to support our frontline agencies. 

  3. I thank the National Wages Council (NWC) for convening earlier than usual and working under compressed timelines. The NWC’s swift response demonstrates the uniqueness and strength of tripartism in Singapore. It is also a testament of the tripartite partners’ commitment to do what is right. In the good times, we share the gains. In times of crisis, we share the pain - each making mutual sacrifices to sustain businesses and save jobs. 

  4. The new set of guidelines developed by the Council considers the needs and difficulties of both our business and workers, and provides guidance on how employers can sustain their businesses and save jobs. It also outlines clearly what workers should expect from their employers. I urge employers to adopt these recommendations to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and position Singapore for eventual recovery. At the same time, we hope workers can do their part to support employers’ efforts in saving jobs. 

  5. These may be challenging times, but I am confident that if we work together in the true spirit of tripartism, we can get through this unprecedented crisis and emerge stronger and more united than ever.