Business

Safety training for cleaners to be mandatory from 2022

All resident cleaners will need to be trained in workplace safety and health from 2022 to reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls among a workforce that tends to be older.

Their employers should also send them for one of the core Workforce Skills Qualification modules identified by the Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners (TCC) for their job level.

And the minimum pay for cleaners who look after restrooms must be higher than that of general indoor cleaners from July 1, 2021.

They must receive basic monthly wages of at least $1,486, up from $1,274 for general indoor cleaners, in recognition of the hardships they experience, said the TCC yesterday.

These updates to the progressive wage model for cleaners are among the new recommendations made by the group, which comprises representatives from the labour movement, employers, service buyers and the Government.

It consulted with tripartite partners, including training providers, for a year. The recommendations were accepted by the Government yesterday.

"These enhancements will ensure that the cleaning workforce continues to stay relevant, and is well equipped and ready for business transformation," said the National Environment Agency, SkillsFuture Singapore, Workforce Singapore and the Manpower Ministry in a joint statement.

The progressive wage model, a ladder that sets out minimum pay and training requirements for workers at different skill levels, has been a compulsory condition for cleaning companies to be licensed since 2014.

There are about 39,000 residents who comprise about 68 per cent of the cleaning workforce. Their average age is 60.

Sun City Maintenance cleaner Lily Goh, 75, who earns about $1,500 a month, has attended courses on topics such as workplace safety and using cleaning robots.

She said: "I want to keep attending courses to get more experience."

BUSINESS & FINANCE