That cleaners will see their wages increase over six years from 2023 calibrates the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) in a way that benefits them substantially, while giving employers time to absorb the higher cost and ensure that the increase will be mirrored by productivity gains. Previous updates to the PWM in 2016 and 2018 already assured cleaners that they will receive annual wage increases of 3 per cent from last year to next year. The latest move is meant to further narrow the income disparity between cleaners and other workers. Thus, the base wages of Singaporean and permanent resident cleaners across all job levels will go up each year, benefiting about 40,000 cleaners across about 1,500 cleaning businesses here.
For cleaning companies, which face the weight of increased costs, the two-year runway to 2023 when higher salaries kick in will give them time to price their future tenders competitively. If existing contracts are long term - that is if they already stretch beyond 2023 - employers will have time to negotiate with service buyers to arrive at a viable solution to factor in the increase in salaries. In this way, the recommendations made by the Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners, which the Government has accepted, seek to balance the interests of workers in the industry and their employers so that the sector might continue to contribute to the everyday quality of life in a country which values high standards of public hygiene.