United Overseas Bank (UOB) will invest its $3.8 million grant from the Government's Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) in a training, development and health programme for its employees.
The Wage Credit Employee Development Initiative (WCEDI) will be open to UOB's 3,600 employees at managerial level or below.
Eligible employees will each be given 1,000 credits, which will allow each employee to register for about four to five of the nearly 100 available workshops, said Ms Jenny Wong, head of group for human resources at UOB.
Ms Wong said the initiative is in addition to the existing development programmes offered by UOB. Employees spend an average of seven to 10 days a year receiving training, according to Ms Wong, who noted that the WCEDI will increase this number by three to four days.
UOB has also developed a mobile application for employees to register for courses and attend virtual tutorials, as well as used part of its grant to increase employees' health benefits.
Ms Wong said that about one-third of the payout will be put into employees' company welfare accounts. Each employee gets about $500 a year in these accounts, which can be used to pay for services concerning healthcare and well-being.
The additional money will expand each employee's account by nearly half, said Ms Wong. Employees will be able to use the funds for services such as dental and optical expenses, traditional Chinese medical treatments and gym memberships.
The announcement last night at Suntec convention centre made UOB the first bank to use its WCS grant for development schemes for staff. Last year, OCBC Bank distributed its $3 million grant to about 1,500 employees.
Speaking at the event as guest of honour, NTUC deputy secretary-general and outgoing Social and Family Development Minister Chan Chun Sing praised UOB's commitment to developing its staff, terming it "good employment practice" and calling on other firms to follow its example.
Also speaking at the event, UOB chief executive Wee Ee Cheong said the programmes focused on enhancing productivity and creativity, which he called "the key to our future success".
The WCS was introduced in the 2013 Budget and renewed this year. Under it, the Government co-funds 40 per cent of wage increases given from 2013 to this year and 20 per cent of those given from next year to 2017. The scheme applies to Singaporean employees earning a gross monthly wage of up to $4,000.
Ms Wong clarified that the re-investment of the WCS grant did not mean that employees would not receive wage increases.