The national labour movement has encouraged sectors which have seen pockets of recovery to roll-back cost saving measures and restore workers’ basic wages.

The guidelines launched by Singapore National Wages Council (NWC) in March 2020, as well as the Supplementary Guidelines launched in October 2020, have been extended to continue to remain relevant until 30 November 2021. This was shared in an update by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

The national labour movement stated that although the Singaporean economy is facing a positive recovery, the extended NWC guidelines “remain relevant today to provide guidance for businesses and to safeguard workers’ livelihoods.” The union is therefore urging all employers to re-evaluate their business situations, see how the NWC Guidelines apply to them, and make appropriate wage and employment adjustments accordingly.

“For businesses that are recovering,” NTUC Deputy Secretary-General Koh Poh Koon said in his Facebook post, “we encourage them to roll-back cost saving measures and restore workers’ basic wages. For businesses that are not doing so well, we will continue to do our best to help them utilise this downtime to upskill and reskill workers, and match them to other jobs that are available.”

MP Patrick Tay also chimed in on Linkedin, encouraging all employers, not limited to local companies, to study these recommendations and implement them well. He hopes: "[Employers] use retrenchment only as the very very last measure, to treat all workers fairly, to look after low-wage workers, and to implement the Flexible Wage System."

Employers should also further look to reward employees fairly through variable payments, as well as bring forward their hiring plans and grant built-in basic wage increases. NTUC encourages all employers to leverage resources available at the Labour Movement, like the Committee Training Committees (CTCs) and the Operations & Technology Roadmap (OTR) process, to accelerate business transition.

The council will, NTUC added, convene again later in the year to develop new guidelines, if any, for the period from 1 December 2021 to 30 November 2022.

Photo / NTUC DSG Koh Poh Koh's Facebook

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