On 2 October, the Environmental Public Health (Amendment) Bill was passed in Parliament, making it mandatory for all employers to pay their resident cleaners an annual bonus, called the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) Bonus.
This new requirement will take effect in January 2020 and about 46,000 resident cleaners are expected to benefit from this new law.
This amendment makes it compulsory for all cleaning businesses to give a PWM Bonus to their resident cleaners, or else the National Environment Agency (NEA) will not issue them a cleaning business licence.
Looks like Labour MP and NTUC Assistant Secretary-General, Zainal Sapari, who has been championing for low-wage workers in Singapore, can now check off another item on his to-do list liao.
For the benefit of those of you who don’t follow news one, here are some things that have been done to help low-wage workers:
The Progressive Wage Model (PWM)
The progressive wage model (PWM) is a wage structure that the labour movement has been pushing for years. Since September 2014, PWM for the cleaning sector was made mandatory to lift the incomes of cleaners.
Through PWM, over 40,000 cleaners have seen higher wages in the past few years. They can also move up the career ladder and progressively earn more and increase their work productivity through skills and training.
Like hor, a cleaning supervisor, for example, will receive starting wages of $1,600, and the more experienced ones then can receive more.
Workfare Income Supplement (WIS)
The Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme is basically giving out payouts to the low-wage workers above 35 years old to encourage them to work and build up their CPF savings for their retirement.
Workfare Training Scheme (WTS)
So this scheme is actually to help subsidise the training programmes for the older lower-wage workers so that they can go and upgrade their skills. Arbo you think the training programmes free one meh?
Then when the workers are better trained and have better skills, they will become more employable, and will have chance to earn more money.
Ensuring that the low-wage workers are protected
The labour movement have also successfully fought for amendments in the Employment Act such as requiring employers to issue pay slips as well as having employment contracts. These favorable changes now give the vulnerable low-wage workers better protection so employers cannot take advantage of them anymore.
And now, under the amended Bill, low-wage workers in the cleaning industry will receive a bonus regardless of their performance called the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) Bonus – More money!!
But hor, of course a lot more needs to be done and can be done to help these low-wage workers lah.
Such as paying them for working on public holidays, give them more medical benefits, give them Annual Wage Supplement (AWS), increase the employer’s CPF contribution rates so that they will have more money in their retirement savings and so on.
Wah, it’s going to be a long battle ahead lor.
These low-wage workers are doing their part to contribute to this society, if you got good heart, prease hor, don’t be so cek ark to them. Respect them and don’t treat them as invisible people. Got Karma one.