Excerpts of NWC 2017/18 Guidelines

NWC Wages Guidelines 2017 2018

Redundancies rose, continuing an upward trend since 2010, but remained lower than the recessionary high in 2009.

Economic Performance and Labour Market in 2016

Economic Performance and Labour Market 2016


Outlook for 2017

  • Global growth is projected to improve in 2017, although uncertainties and downside risks Singapore economy is expected to grow by 1.0% to 3.0% in 2017, with growth likely to come in higher than 2.0%. 
  • In Singapore, the economic outlook remains varied across sectors. Outward-oriented sectors such as Electronics and Transportation & Storage, as well as domestically-oriented sectors such as Health & Social Services, are likely to support growth in Construction, Marine & Offshore Engineering, Retail and Food Services are likely to continue to face headwinds.
  • 2017 CPI inflation forecasted to be between 0.5% and 1.5%.
  • The labour market outlook is expected to remain uneven across sectors with opportunities available in others such as Health & Social Services, Information & Communications, Finance & Insurance, and certain segments of Manufacturing.[1]


NWC Wage Guidelines for 2017/2018

The NWC Guidelines cover the period from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 and applies to all employees – management, executives, professionals and rank-and-file employees, unionised and non- unionised companies in both public and private sectors, workers who have been re- employed.

 Transform Jobs to Enhance Productivity and Stay Future-Ready

Deepen Skills and Transform Jobs to Enhance Productivity and Stay Future-Ready: 

  • Redesign jobs and transform towards higher productivity and
  • Implementation of the Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs).
  • Tap on support from the Government’s Transform and Grow initiative, Enhanced Adapt and Grow and SkillsFuture.
  • Wage increases need to be sustainable and fair. Employers are encouraged to share productivity gains fairly with workers and enhance flexibility in their wage structure to ensure competitiveness.


Wage Recommendations for Low-Wage Workers

  • Basic wage threshold raised from $1,100 to $1,200.
  • Built-in wage increase in the form of a dollar quantum and a percentage, to give the low-wage workers a higher percentage built-in wage
  • Built-in wage increase of $45 to $60 for low-wage workers earning a basic monthly wage of up to $1,200.
  • Reasonable wage increase and/or one-off lump sum based on skills and productivity for low-wage workers earning above $1,200.


Low-Wage Workers in Outsourced Work

  • Service providers of outsourced services, starting with cleaning, security and landscaping services, should factor in the annual wage adjustments and the Annual Wage Supplement (AWS) for workers into new contracts, and service buyers should recognise and support such efforts, including by allowing contract values to be adjusted as
  • Service buyers and service providers:
  1. should take into account the experience and performance of outsourced workers when employment contracts are offered or renewed;
  1. to work together to ensure adequate training for and improving the employment terms of outsourced

 Progressive Wage Model

Progressive Wage Model (PWM)

  • As of 1 September 2016, the PWM was fully implemented in the cleaning, security and landscaping industries.
  • The Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners on progressive wages will introduce yearly wage adjustments to each wage point in the PWM from 2017 to 2019, scheduled wage increases from 2020 to 2022, and annual bonus from
  • Security and landscaping industries will make separate recommendations on wage adjustments to their PWM wage scales.
  • Public Bus Transport and Healthcare sectors have adopted the concept of “progressive wages and skills” and provided a clear pathway for their workers to upskill and upgrade, including through structured training and participating in SkillsFuture The NWC urges employers in other industries to do the same.


Other NWC Recommendations:

Re-Employment of Older Workers

  • Re-employment age has been raised from 65 to 67 from 1 July 2017.
  • Tap on Government programmes like enhanced WorkPro[2], Special Employment Credit (SEC)[3], Additional Special Employment Credit (ASEC)[4].


Responsible Retrenchment

  • Ministry of Manpower made retrenchment notifications mandatory from 1 January
  • Retrenchment should be done responsibly and Employers should consult unions if the company is unionised and work with outplacement services or agencies such as Workforce Singapore (WSG) Career Centres and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to assist affected employees.




[1] MOM Press Release on Labour Market Advance Release 1Q 2017, released on 28 April 2

[2] WorkPro was enhanced in July 2016 to further encourage employers to implement age-friendly workplaces to benefit Singaporeans through job redesign and age management practices for older workers aged 50 and above.

[3] At Budget 2016, the SEC was extended for three years from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2019.  Provides wage offset of up to 8% for employers hiring Singaporeans aged 55 and above, earning up to $4,000 a month.

[4] Extended for two and a half years from 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2019.  It provides additional support to employers hiring older Singaporeans who are not covered by the new re-employment age of 67.    From 1 July 2017, the ASEC together with the SEC will provide employers up to 11% of wage offset when they hire Singaporeans earning up to $4,000 a month, and who are not covered by the new re-employment age.


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