Basic wage levels to be mandated in cleaning, security sectors

SINGAPORE — All cleaners will receive an entry-level wage of S$1,000 a month, the progressive wage recommendation of the Tripartite Cluster of Cleaners, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said today (Jan 8).

This will be a key licensing requirement, once the Government tables a bill to introduce a mandatory licensing regime in the Environmental Public Health Act — which will require all cleaning businesses to have a license to operate — later this month. Cleaning companies will have to comply by September this year.

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The entry-level wage will still be subjected to CPF deductions.

Speaking at the Employment and Employability Institute’s (e2i) Best Sourcing Symposium this morning, Mr Tharman emphasised that the Government’s approach to mandate the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) is “different from one of legislating a national minimum wage”.

The Singapore Government’s approach, through the PWM, is to raise incomes while helping everyone, including those with less skills, stay on the job ladder, he added.

The “wage-skill ladder” under the PWM provides assurance of better pay and career progression, if an employee picks up required skills along a progression pathway with a series of wage points.

There are currently about 55,000 cleaners in the resident workforce, earning a median gross wage of S$850 a month.

The National Trades Union Congress is also working with tripartite partners to implement a tripartite-agreed PWM for the security industry, which has about 70,000 security guards. This will be incorporated into the existing licensing framework for security companies that is administered by the Police and hence also be made mandatory.

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