The Singapore government has announced the acceptance of the recommendations by the National Wages Council (NWC) for 2016/2017.

The press release stated: "The Government supports the NWC’s focus to press on with restructuring and productivity efforts amidst economic uncertainty."

"With local employment growth expected to be significantly lower in the medium term compared to the last few years, businesses need to restructure towards higher productivity in order for wage growth to be sustainable and maintain Singapore’s economic competitiveness."

It added that the government will work together with employers and unions towards the goal including through the Industry Transformation Programme.

Among the recommendations accepted was the built-in wage increase of $50 to $65 for workers earning a basic monthly salary of up to $1,100.

This helps to sustain efforts to improve wage outcomes for low wage workers and builds on quantitative recommendations for low-wage workers the past four years.

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The government has also adopted a multi-pronged approach to help low-wage workers improve their wages including funding for skills upgrading through the Workfare Training Support (WTS) Scheme; and sharing of productivity gains through the Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP).

"The NWC recommendations will complement these efforts with the direct commitment of employers to improve wages," the statement wrote.

Additionally, it recognises that buyers of outsourced services will need to play a part for the NWC recommendations to be effective.

"The government will continue to lead by example, both as an employer and as a service buyer. It will continue to take reference from the NWC guidelines in its annual wage adjustment exercise, and strongly encourage service suppliers to the public sector to adopt NWC recommendations on wage increments for their workers," the statement added.

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