Security guards' basic pay to rise from $800 to $1,100 in September 2016

Condominium security officer Lim Kiam Hoe, 59, a father of three, currently takes home about $1,400 a month. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Condominium security officer Lim Kiam Hoe, 59, a father of three, currently takes home about $1,400 a month. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Security guards can look forward to a big pay hike in two years' time.

From September 2016, their monthly basic wages will be $1,100, under a new wage ladder announced by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) on Wednesday.

This is an increase from their current $800 basic monthly pay. Those holding supervisory posts can earn as much as $1,700 in basic wages.

With overtime, security guards can earn over $2,100 a month under the new wage ladder. Security guards typically work 12 hours each day, six days a week. The bulk of their pay comes from overtime work.

The police, who are responsible for regulating the security sector, will make the wage ladder compulsory as part of its licensing requirements for security firms from September 2016.

The two-year window will allow security agencies to train their guards and adjust to the new wage ladder, said NTUC Assistant Secretary General Zainal Sapari.

The NTUC added that it will review in 2017 whether to recommend a reduction in overtime hours. Shortening the overtime hours immediately will lead to a further shortage of manpower, said Mr Zainal.

There are 70,000 workers trained and qualified to work as security guards, but only 33,000 of them are actually doing so.

The long hours and lower basic pay have kept most of the security guards away from the sector.