SINGAPORE: The Government has accepted recommendations by the Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners (TCC), which laid out the terms for mandatory bonuses cleaning companies have to pay their resident workers starting from 2020.
The annual bonus for cleaners, which was first mooted in 2016, was passed in Parliament in October. Called the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) Bonus, it has to be given regardless of a cleaner’s performance and is provided as a tool to attract and motivate cleaners to stay with their employers for at least 12 months, said TCC.
An addendum report released on Thursday (Nov 15) spelled out the details of the PWM Bonus to be paid to all resident cleaners, including full-time, part-time and casual workers.
The bonus is payable to all Singapore citizen and permanent resident cleaners who have worked for the same cleaning business for at least 12 months. However, the length of service requirement can be waived for circumstances beyond the worker’s control, such as when there is a change of service provider.
The total bonus paid must not be less than two weeks of the cleaner’s basic monthly wage, and it must be paid at least once but not more than twice a year.
Companies that are already providing some form of variable bonus, such as a 13th month or festive bonus, would be deemed to have complied with the PWM Bonus requirements as long as the amount given is not less than the stipulated two weeks.
TCC said that the payment must be reflected in the cleaner’s salary slip and is subject to Central Provident Fund contributions by both employer and employee.
For part-time cleaners, this bonus will be provided if they have met the 12-month employment period. It will be pro-rated based on the contracted hours they have worked.
TCC said it encourages companies to also pay pro-rated PWM bonuses to casual cleaners to recognise their work as long as they meet the required minimum length of service.
For example, a general cleaner who earns S$1,236 a month in 2020 (projected according to TCC’s PWM schedule) will get at least S$570 as their bonus.
The changes will come into effect in 2020.
3% YEARLY WAGE INCREASES
In addition to the PWM Bonus, the ongoing scheduled wage increases for the cleaning sector will continue. The TCC said that the 3 per cent annual wage hike will be implemented from Jul 1, 2020 to 2022.
This is the third series of scheduled wage increases since the PWM was first implemented for the cleaning sector in 2012.
These recommendations will benefit more than 40,000 cleaners who are employed by about 1,300 companies.
NTUC assistant secretary-general Zainal Sapari, who is also chairman of the TCC, said efforts to help vulnerable workers in the cleaning industry are still a “work-in-progress”, but he called the PWM Bonus a “landmark improvement” for their welfare.
“It will put an end to resident cleaners’ common work grievance of not being paid bonuses. It is our hope that the PWM Bonus will serve as a motivational tool to encourage workers to stay longer with the same employer, as well as incentivise employers to invest in training their cleaners,” he said.
“This way, as cleaners become more skilled, this will be accompanied by higher productivity and better wages.”