30 August 2022

On 15 August 2022, the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) announced that the Singapore Government has accepted the recommendations of the Tripartite Cluster for Retail Industry (“TCR”) on the introduction of a Progressive Wage Model (“PWM”) for the retail sector released on 15 August 2022. The recommendations set a three-year schedule of sustained PWM wage increases from 2022 to 2024 for retail workers, outlines a clear career progression pathway for retail workers, and stipulates the training requirements for retail job roles. The changes will take effect from 1 September 2022.

The PWM will apply to full-time and part-time resident (i.e. Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) retail workers who are employed on a contract of service. Part-time employees will be paid pro-rated PWM wages.

Three-year schedule of sustained wage increases

The TCR has recommended a three-year schedule of sustained PWM wage increases. From 1 September 2022, the wages of full-time retail assistants and cashiers will be required to be raised to the initial PWM wage level of S$1,850. This baseline wage will increase from S$1,850 in 2022 to S$1,975 in 2023 and S$2,175 in 2024. The TCR will undertake a review of the PWM in 2024.

Career progression pathway

The TCR has proposed a career ladder for the retail sector, with the first three tiers (retail assistant/cashier, senior retail assistant/senior cashier and assistant retail supervisor) subject to mandatory PWM wage requirements. A clear progression pathway comprising frontline operational and supervisory positions is mapped out to highlight the career opportunities in the sector and to encourage more jobseekers to join the retail industry.

Mandatory WSQ training requirements

The TCR has recommended mandatory training requirements to upskill workers. Each retail worker will need to complete a minimum of one Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) training module applicable to the job role. The training will help retail workers enhance their competencies and increase their productivity.

Phased Implementation of retail PWM

The Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) will support the implementation of the retail PWM requirements by enforcing through employers’ eligibility for Work Passes. From 1 September 2022, employers will need to comply with the stipulated retail PWM requirements, and any other applicable PWM and Local Qualifying Salary requirements, in order to apply for new Work Passes (e.g. Work Permit, S Pass, Employment Pass) or renew existing Work Passes.

However, in the initial six months of implementation from September 2022 to February 2023, MOM will focus on helping and allowing employers of retail workers to understand and adhere to the PWM requirements. There will be no enforcement action during this period.

Reference materials

The following materials are available from the MOM website www.mom.gov.sg and National Trades Union Congress website www.ntuc.org.sg: