The Progressive Wage Model is in force today


If you are a cleaner, or know someone who is a cleaner, why not help them understand why their salaries are increasing?

This year, the country has implemented a career growth policy called the “Progressive Wage Model” (PWM). Under the PWM, employers are required to adopt a career building program, which includes helping staff upgrade skills and salaries (which includes a minimum wage component) over time, or be refused a licence to operate their businesses.

To date, 1001 companies have received their licences – and thus committed (actually more like required) to increase salaries and careers for their employees.






Altogether, these companies employ over 52,000 cleaners. Salaries have not just increased for now, but will continue to increase as they add more productivity and value to the company.




Before the Progressive Wage Model, companies used to compete on price. This was a zero-sum race that led to worker’s salaries being depressed. A win for the company does not equal a win for the cleaner – especially when cleaning contracts require an “x” number of cleaners. The PWM levels the playing field and forces companies to now compete based on productivity instead of head-count.





There is an incredible array of tools and machines that companies did not used to invest in, to make jobs more productive. With Government and NTUC funding, businesses should seriously consider these technologies. Take for example this little carpark cleaning machine. At a price of about $80k (before subsidy), the machine reduces the need for manpower: thus allowing manpower to be redeployed to other work or industries. (Don’t forget that Singapore has 98% employment and strict foreign manpower quotas)





The whole point really is to create jobs. Not commodities. The easiest, laziest way is to go to Parliament and vote in a minimum wage model. The minimum wage turns workers into commodities, it does not build careers.





The Progressive Wage Model is not just a system for low wage workers – it is a model that your company and boss can implement. Everyone works better when they know they have a ladder to climb and goals to achieve. So why not tell your boss about the PWM?





“…I hope that instead of looking for cheap labour, (1) cleaning contractors will take better care of the cleaners, (2) buyers of cleaning service will stop cheap sourcing and go for best sourcing.” – Lim Swee Say, Secretary General of the NTUC








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