Parliament Q&A

Written Reply by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, to Parliamentary Question on Cleaning Companies Applying Progressive Wage Model to Foreign Cleaners, on 1 March 2019

Question by Mr Louis Ng, MP for Nee Soon GRC: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) what current percentage of cleaning companies apply the progressive wage model to their foreign cleaners; and (b) whether the Ministry will start collecting such data if it does not currently do so.



The Progressive Wage Model (PWM) was introduced to address the effects of cheap-sourcing that had depressed wages for local cleaners hired by cleaning businesses. While the PWM is mandatory for these cleaners, it is not applicable to foreign cleaners, who are typically hired on different terms, with employers bearing other related expenses such as additional levies and accommodation arrangements.


2.      The PWM is intended to sustain productivity-driven wage growth for resident low-wage workers, hence the collection of related data focuses on local cleaners. Nonetheless, as at 31 Jan 2019, about 23% of licensed cleaning businesses employing foreign cleaners were paying wages at or above the levels stipulated under the PWM to their foreign cleaners.


3.      We encourage more employers to upgrade their workers’ skills and implement productivity-based wage progression in accordance with the key tenets of the PWM, regardless their workers’ citizenship.  


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