The Progressive Wage Model (PWM) helps to increase wages of workers through upgrading skills and improving productivity. Employers must ensure that their Singapore Citizen and Singapore PR workers in the Cleaning and Retail sectors meet the PWM training requirements of attaining at least 1 Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) Statement of Attainment, out of the list of approved WSQ training modules.
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The Progressive Wage Model (PWM) is a unique and innovative wage structure implemented in Singapore to address income inequality and uplift the wages of low-income workers in specific sectors. It was introduced in 2012 as part of Singapore's efforts to create a fair and inclusive society while maintaining economic competitiveness. While the PWM was first implemented in the cleaning sector, it has since been expanded to the other six sectors. The PWM is put into practice in phases, with each sector having its own wage and training requirements.
The PWM operates by setting a minimum wage floor for specific low-wage industries, such as cleaning, security, and landscaping. The wage floor is progressive, meaning it is tiered based on a worker's skills, experience, and productivity. It requires employers in the covered sectors to pay their Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (SC/PR) employees at least the prevailing wage for their job role and experience level. This encourages workers to continually upgrade their skills and improve their productivity to earn higher wages.
Key features of the Progressive Wage Model in Singapore include:
The Progressive Wage Model not only improves the income of low-wage workers but also addresses the issue of skill gaps and encourages employers to invest in workforce development. It aligns with Singapore's commitment to creating an inclusive society while maintaining economic growth and competitiveness.
A comprehensive strategy is employed to elevate the earnings of lower-wage workers, encompassing several components. These include the Sectoral Progressive Wage Model (PWM) implemented in seven different industries, the adoption of Occupational Progressive Wages (OPW) for drivers and administrators, the utilization of the Local Qualifying Salary, and the introduction of the PWM Mark.
As of now, the PWM has been successfully rolled out in the following seven sectors:
It also covers Occupational PWs for administrators and drivers, as these roles exist across many sectors.
These initiatives collectively aim to raise wages and improve the working conditions of employees in these sectors.
PWMs Currently in Effect
|Sectoral / Occupational PWs
|PWM requirements took effect from
1 September 2014
1 September 2022
1 September 2016
1 September 2022
30 June 2016
1 September 2022
Lift and escalator sector
1 May 2019
1 September 2022
Food services sector
1 March 2023
Occupational PWs for administrators and drivers
1 March 2023
Waste management sector
1 July 2023
The Progressive Wage Model (PWM) applies to Singaporean citizens and Singapore permanent residents (PRs) employed on either a full-time or part-time basis through a service contract.
For employers hiring foreign workers holding a Work Permit, S Pass, or Employment Pass, they must adhere to the following dual requirements when renewing current work passes or applying for new ones:
The Progressive Wage Model (PWM) in Singapore provides distinct benefits for both employees and employers in low-wage industries:
Benefits for Employees:
Higher Wages: Employees in PWM sectors receive higher minimum wages than they would in non-PWM sectors. This provides them with a better income, allowing them to support themselves and their families more adequately.
Benefits for Employers:
If your company is part of any of the sectors covered under the Progressive Wage Model, you can easily adopt it by taking the below steps:
Cleaning companies and employers with in-house cleaners are required to adhere to the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) wage and training criteria for Singaporean citizens and permanent residents.
The Progressive Wage Model (PWM) for the cleaning sector has been developed by the Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners (TCC). This initiative falls under the Cleaning Business Licence scheme, overseen by the National Environmental Agency (NEA). Cleaning companies must comply with PWM requirements in order to obtain or renew their licenses.
Starting September 1, 2022, employers hiring foreign workers must also meet PWM requirements for their in-house cleaners.
Who It Covers
The PWM requirements:
Employers are strongly encouraged to apply PWM principles to their foreign cleaners by enhancing their skills and introducing wage progression based on productivity.
The progressive wage structure comprises three wage ladders for three main categories of cleaning jobs:
These categories align with the most common types of cleaning roles and are based on NEA's classification of cleaning sub-sectors under the Enhanced Clean Mark Accreditation Scheme.
Starting from September 1, 2022, in-house cleaners are required to receive at least the specified PWM wages.
Cleaning companies are responsible for ensuring that their outsourced cleaners meet the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) training requirements. This can be achieved by enrolling cleaners in Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) modules from the approved list.
Please consult the SkillsFuture SG (SSG) training framework specific to the cleaning sector for further information.
Employers with in-house cleaners should ensure that their cleaning staff fulfill the in-house PWM training requirement, which entails completing either one WSQ course or one in-house training program.
As an employer, you stand to gain from your workers' enhanced productivity and their ability to deliver higher-quality cleaning services.
For more detailed information regarding the training requirements and the list of approved WSQ training modules, please refer to Annex A in the Addendum to the Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners (TCC) Report.
Companies are required to adhere to the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) wage and training criteria for retail workers who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents.
The Progressive Wage Model (PWM) for retail workers has been developed by the Tripartite Cluster for the Retail Industry (TCR). Starting from September 1, 2022, employers must meet the PWM requirements when renewing existing work passes or applying for new work passes.
Who It Covers
The PWM requirements apply to Singaporean citizens and permanent residents who:
The retail PWM encompasses the following retail job roles:
Employers are responsible for ensuring that their Singaporean citizen and permanent resident retail workers meet the training requirements outlined in the retail Progressive Wage Model (PWM). To fulfill these requirements, retail workers must obtain at least one Statement of Attainment from the list of approved Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) training modules.
Alternatively, employers can also use in-house WSQ training modules bearing the prefix "RET" in the accompanying Technical Skills & Competencies (TSC) code to satisfy the training criteria.
Employers will be granted a grace period to comply with the retail PWM training requirements:
Proper training equips retail workers with the skills needed to enhance their productivity and provide superior retail experiences to customers.
For more comprehensive information on training requirements, please consult Annex C in the report from the Tripartite Cluster for Retail Industry (TCR).
The Progressive Wage Mark (PW Mark) is an accreditation scheme that acknowledges companies that pay progressive wages to lower-wage workers. This accreditation enables both consumers and corporate buyers to easily identify and support firms that prioritize fair wages for their employees.
Why Obtain the PW Mark?
Obtaining the PW Mark offers several benefits:
Who Is Eligible for the PW Mark?
To be eligible for the PW Mark, your company must meet the following criteria:
PW Mark Plus
If your firm meets the eligibility requirements for the PW Mark and also adopts the Tripartite Standard on Advancing Well-being of Lower-Wage Workers (TS-LWW), your company will be conferred the PW Mark Plus. The TS-LWW outlines progressive workplace practices that provide support for lower-wage workers in areas such as training and career development, workplace safety and health, and rest area provision.
How to Apply