Government Accepts the National Wages Council Guidelines for 2022/2023
1. The Government accepts the National Wages Council (NWC) 2022/2023 Guidelines.
2. The labour market improved in the first three quarters of 2022 as resident employment grew and resident unemployment continued to ease. Retrenchments also fell to a record low. Meanwhile, labour productivity, as measured by real value-added per actual hour worked, improved by 1.5% on a y-o-y basis in the first half of 2022.
3. The Ministry of Trade and Industry (“MTI”) has projected that the Singapore economy will expand by “3% to 4%” in 2022. However, downside risks in the global economy remain significant. Looking ahead to 2023, MTI expects Singapore’s GDP growth to moderate further in tandem with the projected slowdown of the global economy.
4. In line with economic growth and the improvement in labour productivity, the Government stands with tripartite partners to call on employers to reward employees with wage increases or variable payments that are fair and sustainable. This will help in addressing workers’ concerns about inflation and rising costs of living. At the same time, we recognise that inflation also affects business costs and prospects. Hence, the Government supports the tripartite agreement to have differentiated wage guidelines for employers, to account for the different performance and outlook of businesses. The Government also encourages all employers to implement the Flexible Wage System (FWS) as the uncertainties ahead continue to underscore the need for resilience and flexibility in wage structures. Employers can refer to the FWS Guidebook which is available on MOM’s website to better understand how the FWS works and how to implement it1. Employers can also approach tripartite partners and Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices for advice.
5. We must press on with the national effort to uplift lower-wage workers so that our social compact remains strong and no worker is left behind as Singapore progresses. The NWC’s recommended wage growth for lower-wage workers balances business sustainability with meaningful wage increments for lower-wage workers and will bolster ongoing efforts to narrow the income gap. The Occupational Progressive Wages for Administrators and Drivers2 will bring 56,000 full-time lower-wage workers under the coverage of Progressive Wages from March 2023. The Government will continue to support employers in uplifting lower-wage workers through the 5-year Progressive Wage Credit Scheme, which co-funds eligible lower-wage worker wage increases.
6. The Government will continue to work with tripartite partners in the NWC to champion fair, inclusive and sustainable wage growth for our workers while ensuring that our businesses stay productive and competitive.