SBF Welcomes Recommendations of the Tripartite Workgroup on Lower-Wage Workers
To be attributed to Mr Lam Yi Young, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Business Federation
Monday, 30 August 2021 [Singapore] – The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) welcomes the recommendations made by the Tripartite Workgroup on Lower-Wage Workers (TWG-LWW) to enhance the well-being of lower-wage workers. Businesses recognise that lower-wage workers are an integral part of our workforce and the broader society, and that we can all play a part in uplifting their well-being, including through the paying of fair wages supported by productivity gains.
From businesses’ perspectives, some concerns are:
a. Ease of implementation. The changes, including those to the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) and Local Qualifying Salary, should be easy for businesses to implement or comply with, and care should be taken to avoid imposing unnecessary administrative burdens on businesses.
b. Level playing field. The changes should be implemented in a fair and equitable manner to ensure a level playing field and that companies that pay fair wages will not be unduly disadvantaged in terms of cost competitiveness.
c. Cost sharing. There is need for some sharing of the added costs. Consumers, as well as public and private sector corporate buyers, should be prepared to share part of the added costs.
We are glad that the TWG-LWW recommendations have taken these concerns into consideration. We hope that the government, as a major buyer of goods and services, will take the lead in recognising companies that pay fair wages during government procurements, taking into account the added costs in the budgets for government projects, and being open to making price adjustments to existing contracts affected by the PWM changes.
Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic remains uneven across sectors and businesses, and some businesses will need more time to adjust to the changes. Transitional support for wage increments will also help companies, especially SMEs, to adjust to the new requirements.