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Written Answer by Minister of Manpower Mrs Josephine Teo to PQ on In-House Cleaners

NOTICE PAPER NO. 147 OF 2020 FOR THE SITTING ON 5 JANUARY 2021

QUESTION NO. 42 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER TO QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER NOT ANSWERED BY END OF QUESTION TIME

MP: Ms Mariam Jaafar

To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether the Ministry has statistics on the current number of cleaners who are hired directly by companies rather than the cleaning work being handled by a cleaning agency; and (b) whether this segment of workers can be included under the Progressive Wage Model framework.

Answer:

1.  Based on a combination of MOM’s Labour Force Survey and NEA’s data, we estimate that about 22,000 out of 43,000 full-time cleaners are employed in-house by non-cleaning companies.

2. In-house cleaners are currently not under the Progressive Wage Model (PWM), because the regulatory lever for PWM is through NEA’s licensing requirement for cleaning companies. Nevertheless, the median gross monthly income (excluding employer CPF) for outsourced cleaners has increased from $1,000 in 2014 to $1,300 in 2019. This is comparable to the median gross monthly income for in-house cleaners, which is estimated to be around $1,300.

3. The recently-announced Tripartite Workgroup on Lower-Wage Workers will examine, among other issues, increasing the number of workers covered by PWMs. This will include the cleaners working for non-cleaning companies, that the Member has highlighted.