Singapore

Pay rise, bonus for cleaners and landscaping workers

Increases will come into effect from Jan 1

Cleaners and landscape maintenance workers will get bonuses from Jan 1 as well as annual pay rises in the next few years.

The measures are part of moves to lift the pay of lower-income workers at a time when issues like inequality and minimum wages have been in the spotlight.

The initiatives come under the Progressive Wage Model, which sets the minimum pay for different job levels and pegs wage increases to a skills ladder.

It applies to workers in the cleaning, security and landscape sectors. Lift technicians were added in September last year.

Recommendations from an addendum to the Tripartite Cluster for Landscape Industry (TCL) report were released yesterday and accepted by the Government.

Measures recommended by the Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners last November were also adopted by the Commissioner for Labour yesterday.

The Progressive Wage Model for the landscaping sector states that eligible staff will receive a mandatory annual bonus from Jan 1 next year.

Landscape maintenance employees who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents and who have worked for the same employer for at least 12 months will be paid the bonus.

The payout in any given year must be no less than two weeks of the worker's basic monthly wage. It has to be paid at least once but not more than twice a year. The landscape sector employs about 3,000 residents.

INCREASE BASIC PAY

Companies will have to increase the minimum basic pay for workers at various job levels in the sector by $150 from July next year, and by $100 a year in 2021 and 2022.

After that, workers will get a minimum annual wage increment of 3 per cent, subject to a review, for all landscape maintenance job levels from July 1 each year. This will run from 2023 to 2025.

The Ministry of Manpower and National Parks Board said the recommendations will ensure that landscape maintenance employees enjoy sustained wage growth.

It is not just about more money but about improving the image of the sector, said Ms Jacqueline Allan, acting chairman of the Landscape Industry Association Singapore.

"These are skills that deserve to command such a salary and the Progressive Wage Model will help to take away the impression that this kind of career is low wage or unskilled. I hope this will change the mindset of people."

Cleaners will also get a bonus from Jan 1 next year, as well as 3 per cent annual wage increases from 2020 to 2022.

This will be implemented for all licensed cleaning businesses and for all resident cleaners from July 1 next year. The measures are expected to benefit more tha 40,000 cleaners.

The Manpower Ministry said cleaning businesses that seek to be licensed must ensure that remuneration for resident cleaners meets the new guidelines.

NTUC assistant secretary-general Zainal Sapari said: "The implementation of the bonus is a milestone change for the cleaning and landscape workers because not all of them are receiving any form of bonus."

Employment