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Laws and enforcement in place to safeguard workers rights


  • TODAY (28 Sep 2020): Are garbage collectors getting rest days?

Laws and enforcement in place to safeguard workers’ rights - TODAY, 5 Oct 2020

  1. We thank Mr Ch’ng for his feedback (“Are garbage collectors getting rest days?”, 28 September). 

  2. The law imposes work hour limits for waste collectors. They are not allowed to work more than 12 hours a day.  Their employer also cannot compel them to work on a rest day. If the employer requests that they work on their rest day, they have to be compensated at double the daily wage. Employers also cannot dismiss or discipline them if they refuse the request to work on their rest day.

  3. We have followed up with the company handling waste management at Mr Ch’ng’s residence and also reached out to the Building, Construction and Timber Industries Employees’ Union. In accordance with the law, the company provides workers one rest day per week. Where an employee is required to work on his rest day, the company seeks the worker’s prior agreement and compensates him accordingly. 

  4. MOM proactively reaches out to workers and employers through workplace visits under the Workright initiative to help workers and employers understand their rights and obligations respectively under employment laws.

Then Yee Thoong
Divisional Director
Labour Relations and Workplaces Division
Ministry of Manpower


Are garbage collectors getting rest days? - TODAY, 28 Sep 2020 

  1. I live in a private estate at West Coast and have noticed that household garbage is removed every day, including Sunday. 

  2. The workers who do this appear to be the same through the week. 

  3. If this is true, then such front-line workers do not have a rest day in the week, whereas others do. 

  4. Is this fair to them or are there compensation incentives to have them work seven days a week? 

  5. Building on this observation, one may ask if there are similar situations in other sectors where front-line or migrant workers have to work throughout the week. 

  6. Is this an issue that the Ministry of Manpower should look into, since it affects working terms, and workers' welfare and rights?

  7. In some places overseas, garbage removal is done only several times a week or even once a week. 

  8. Do our households, especially those in private estates, have such large amounts of garbage that warrant daily removal?

Alan Ch’ng Teck Heong