PETALING JAYA: Employers are still in the dark over what the progressive wage model (PWM) means as the government has yet to come out with clear guidelines.

Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said the PWM in the country is still very much a work in progress.

“We are still waiting for the (guidelines). What we understand is the government wants to implement the PWM by April or May next year.

“But without any provision in the budget for subsidy or increment, I doubt very much whether they can (implement) this next year,” he told reporters at the MEF Industrial Relations Conference 2023, today.

The PWM was approved by the Cabinet early this year.

An official from the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) said they have been informed by the government that it wants to pilot the project first.

“We don’t have a clear direction which sector should be enforced first, so that’s why (there’s a) need to do a pilot for companies which are interested to join,” he said.

He added the government is willing to subsidise any company willing to participate in the pilot project.

“The progressive wage is to reward workers on their skills, education and how long they served,” he said.

Singapore National Employers Federation director Toh Hong Seng said the PWM in Singapore is showing a steep increase in adoption.

He said it was not easy to come out with a PWM, and it took Singapore a year plus to come into settlement. “Three parties (unions, government, and employers) must understand each others’ perceptions.

“The government will always listen to the employer and union as long as both parties agree,” he said.