57 cleaning companies imposed financial penalties for implementing a progressive wage model

SINGAPORE: The National Environment Agency (NEA) has imposed financial penalties on 57 licensed cleaning companies for failing to meet progressive wage model requirements since it was introduced, Sustainability and Environment Minister Grace Fu said on Monday (August 2nd).

Warning letters were also issued to 52 cleaning companies for violations, such as non-payment of bonuses or progressive salaries to eligible cleaners.

Ms. Fu answered MPs Wan Risal’s (PAP-Jalan Besar) parliamentary questions about the number of licensed cleaning companies that have not adhered to the progressive wage model since its implementation in 2014 and the measures taken against those companies.

The figures given by Ms. Fu in parliament refer to the period up to May 31 this year.

READ: Cleaners’ wages to rise from 2023 amid labor crisis caused by COVID-19

The progressive salary model for the cleaning industry was first introduced in 2012 and was formally implemented in 2014 when licensing for the cleaning industry became mandatory.

To obtain a license, cleaning companies must pay local employees the minimum wages set by the progressive wage model and send them for training.

In response to a question from Dr. Wan Rizal about efforts to professionalize the cleaning industry and “promote good practices for industry transformation,” Ms. Fu said there are initiatives under the Environmental Services Industry Transformation Map.

The initiatives aim to professionalize the cleaning workforce by adopting technology, training cleaners and improving procurement practices.

“This will help build a professional, trained and non-workforce workforce, and encourage the adoption of good practice in the industry,” she said.

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In an additional question, Dr. Wan Rizal said that based on industry feedback, some companies could try to circumvent the latest requirements.

A new salary increase schedule was announced in June by the Triple Cleaning Cluster.

The basic salaries of cleaners who are Singaporeans or permanent residents in 2023 will increase to 1,570 to 2,210 SY. The amount will increase by at least $ 170 each year until 2028.

Wage increases from 2023 are higher than in previous years.

“Will NEA consider a whistleblower system that will help ensure that both cleaning service customers and cleaning companies respect the intricacies of PWM (a progressive payroll model), such as fair contracts, to achieve the desired social outcome?” asked Dr. Wan Rizal.

Ms. Fu responded by saying that feedback from anyone who reports to report non-compliance will be considered, and NEA will conduct implementation checks along with the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment and the Ministry of Labor.

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