Singapore

Wage boost for some of Singapore's lowest paid workers

Around 40,000 cleaners will see basic pay go up by $200 over next three years

The basic pay of cleaners will go up by $200 over three years, starting next July.

On top of that, those employed by the same business for at least 12 months will get a yearly bonus, from 2020.

It will be equivalent to two weeks of their basic monthly pay, and may be paid annually or biannually.

The recommendations, unveiled by the Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners (TCC) yesterday, is a significant move to further boost the wages of some of Singapore's lowest-paid workers.

National Trades Union Congress assistant secretary-general Zainal Sapari, who is also TCC's chairman, said: "The (change) may be seen as a half-step, but to us, this is a big half-step... This is the first time we are forcing an industry's annual increments, as well as some form of bonus."

The Government has accepted the recommendations, which will benefit more than 40,000 Singaporean and permanent residents employed by over 1,200 cleaning firms.

Companies with service contracts that start before next July have until July 1, 2018, to comply with the recommended wages.

The TCC suggestions follow its review of the progressive wage model in the cleaning industry.

The model aims to raise the pay of low-wage workers through skills upgrading and improvements in productivity.

It applies to workers in the cleaning, security and landscape sectors, and became compulsory for the cleaning industry in September last year.

The model specifies a starting pay of at least $1,000 a month for cleaners, with wages rising to $1,400 and more for higher-skilled cleaners, and from $1,600 for supervisors.

Cleaners have seen their wages rise since 2012, when the model was mooted. The median basic wage of full-time cleaners grew by 9 per cent from 2012 to last year. It was $1,100 in June last year.

More needs to be done to ensure cleaners achieve sustainable real wage increases, the TCC and NTUC said in a joint statement yesterday.

Mr Zainal said: "We need to make the employment terms and conditions better."

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