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Low-wage workers to get S$50-S$65 NWC wage hike

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DESPITE the shaky economy, the National Wages Council (NWC) has recommended that employers in Singapore continue to give low-wage workers earning up to S$1,100 monthly a built-in wage increase in 2016. But instead of a raise of at least S$60, as was recommended last year, this year the NWC proposed a S$50-S$65 range hike.

"Notwithstanding the uncertain economic environment, the NWC believes there is merit to continue according low-wage workers special consideration in their annual wage adjustments, to build on sustained efforts to uplift their incomes," the council said.

For low-wage workers with monthly pay above S$1,100, the latest guidelines said bosses should grant "an equitable and reasonable wage increase and/or one-off lump sum based on skills and productivity . . ."

Employers who have not done well and face uncertain prospects may exercise wage restraint, with management leading by example, according to the latest guidelines. But those who have done well and are likely to continue to do well should reward workers with built-in increases and variable payments in line with the company's performance.

Bosses who have done well but are unsure of how business will be doing ahead should go easy on the built-in increases, NWC said. However, they should still make variable payments to workers commensurate with the company's performance.

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