Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) for each year in the past five years, what are the average and media starting salaries of a social worker; and (b) whether the Ministry intends to recommend higher salaries for social workers.
1. Based on the Ministry of Social and Family Development's Manpower and Salary Survey which collected salary data of employees in Social Service Agencies (SSAs) in 2015, 2017 and 2019, the monthly mean salary for entry-level social workers increased from $3,500 in 2015 and 2017 to $3,600 in 2019, while their monthly median salary increased from $3,400 in 2015 and 2017 to $3,600 in 2019. The figures are comparable with the salaries for all fresh graduates (i.e. including those without a Social Work Degree) in those years, based on the Graduate Employment Survey (GES) conducted by the Autonomous Universities.
2. The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) are committed in guiding the sector to pay competitive salaries for all social service professionals, including social workers. NCSS publishes sector salary guidelines for a range of professions in the social service sector. The guidelines are updated annually to keep pace with competing market and general wage movements. The majority of SSAs adopt the guidelines and we strongly encourage SSAs to adhere to these guidelines to reward and retain good staff.