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Singapore Budget 2014: Govt looking at mandating progressive wages in landscaping

The labour movement's progressive wage model may be made compulsory in the landscaping sector as well, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Hawazi Daipi said in Parliament on Friday. -- ST FILE PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
The labour movement's progressive wage model may be made compulsory in the landscaping sector as well, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Hawazi Daipi said in Parliament on Friday. -- ST FILE PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

The labour movement's progressive wage model may be made compulsory in the landscaping sector as well, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Hawazi Daipi said in Parliament on Friday.

It will be the third one after the security and cleaning industries, though Mr Hawazi stressed that there is no plan to legislate the model in other sectors.

The scheme sets out career ladders with benchmark wages for resident workers - Singaporeans and permanent residents - in various sectors.

In the landscaping sector, wages for resident workers are higher than in the cleaning and security sectors, but have still stagnated at around $1,000 for several years, noted Mr Hawazi.

"We will set up a tripartite cluster for the landscape industry to study the need for mandating a progressive wage model for the sector," he said during the debate during the Manpower Ministry's budget.

The ministry and National Parks Board will work with the tripartite cluster to assess whether and how best to do so, he added.

Complying with the model has already been made a licensing requirement for cleaning firms, which have up till September to ensure that all new contracts pay basic wages in line with the recommendations.

By September 2015, this requirement will apply to all existing cleaning contracts as well.

Similar moves are underway in the security sector, with the security tripartite cluster now negotiating over the model. "When ready, the Government will apply the progressive wage model requirement to the licensing regime that is in place for the security sector," said Mr Hawazi.

The model is expected to help more than 80,000 local low-wage workers across the cleaning, security and landscape sectors.

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