Forum: Job clustering cannot be applied across the board in security sector

A security guard at Bedok Mall on Nov 1, 2019.
A security guard at Bedok Mall on Nov 1, 2019.PHOTO: ST FILE

Although many benefits can be derived from job clustering, this must be put in perspective (Study impact of job clustering on older workers, Nov 27).

A security guard attached to a school may be able to undertake tasks such as cleaning and gardening besides his normal security duties. This is because he is on static duty at the guard post during lesson time, and this period can be better utilised by him doing some menial jobs.

However, the duties of security personnel in hotels and commercial buildings entail patrolling the ground, monitoring surveillance equipment, maintaining public safety and enforcing safety and security regulations.

Given that these security guards must observe and monitor activities properly, other assignments such as cleaning can distract them from their main responsibility, resulting in dereliction of duty.

Undeniably, job clustering or job enlargement is a good way to boost productivity, increase wages, provide career progression and, above all, enable workers to learn more. But not all security guards' work environments and responsibilities are the same, so job clustering must not be implemented across the board before the initiative is analysed.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2019, with the headline 'Job clustering cannot be applied across the board in security sector'. Print Edition | Subscribe