Cleaners’ pay charade must stop?


So many schemes to pretend to help cleaners increase their slave wages?

I refer to the article “Cleaning firms must pay cleaners annual bonus from 2020” (Straits Times, Oct 3).

It states that “Cleaners will receive an income boost from January 2020, when it becomes mandatory for cleaning firms to pay them an annual bonus.

The move will benefit more than 40,000 Singaporeans and permanent residents who work as cleaners, and they may receive up to 4 per cent more in wages each year.”

As to “An annual bonus for cleaners was one of several recommendations put forth by the Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners (TCC) two years ago. It also recommended yearly wage adjustments between 2017 and 2022.

In its proposal, the TCC had recommended a minimum annual bonus amount of two weeks of a cleaner’s basic monthly wage” – is this a joke or what?

Take 2 years to announce the implementation of this miserly pay increase, and now take another 2 years to effect it – a total of 4 years!

In this connection, according to the Ministry of Manpower’s  (MOM) web site – Progressive Wage Model  (PWM) Cleaning Sector – “If you have new service contracts that starts from 1 July 2017, you must use the following revised wages” – (at least) $1,060 for Group 1 – Office & Commercial – General/Indoor Cleaners, (and) Group 2 – F & B Establishment – General Cleaners”.

And now with the 2 weeks’ annual bonus by 2020 – it may only increase their basic pay to $1,104 ($1,060 + 2 weeks annual bonus).

Isn’t a basic monthly salary of $1,104 (including employee’s CPF) still very very low?

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.