Firms that hit productivity quotas were also urged to give bonuses worth $300-$600.
The National Wages Council (NWC) recommended that employers should grant a built-in wage increase of $50-$70 for workers earning a basic wage of up to $1,300.
According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the higher quantum of this year’s range reflects the improvement in general business conditions, whilst maintaining the flexibility for employers to provide wage increases. It has expressed support for the recommendation.
"This helps to sustain efforts to improve wage outcomes for low-wage workers. The Government will continue to take reference from the NWC guidelines in its annual wage increment exercise," it added.
NWC also encouraged companies that achieved productivity improvements in 2017 to provide a one-off special payment to workers. It recommended firms to give bonuses worth $300-$600 to workers earning a basic wage of up to $1,300, on top of the built-in wage increases.
"This additional payout rewards low-wage workers for their contributions and provides them higher variable payments," MOM said.
MOM said it recognises that many low-wage workers are employed in outsourced work. "For the NWC recommendations to be effective, providers and buyers of outsourced services will need to play a part. As a service buyer, the Government fully supports best sourcing and will strongly encourage service providers to the public sector to adopt NWC wage recommendations for their workers," it added.
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