PWM Bonus Adds Sparkle to the Cleaning Industry


Have you heard of the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) Bonus that will benefit more than 40,000 cleaners?

PWM Bonus was first recommended by the Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners (TCC) in a report released in December 2016. It was announced on 2 October 2018, when the Environmental Public Health (Amendment) Bill was passed in Parliament, that the PWM bonus will be made mandatory from January 2020 onwards.

Singaporean and Permanent Resident workers who have been with the same cleaning business for at least 12 months will be eligible.

According to the media release issued TCC, “the PWM bonus will serve as a retention tool to motivate cleaners to stay with the same employer longer for better career progression. It would also go towards incentivising cleaning businesses to invest in workers’ training to raise productivity.”

Case In Point: Sun City Maintenance

To combat manpower crunch and champion employee welfare, cleaning service provider Sun City Maintenance has been issuing bonuses of their own long before PWM Bonus came about.

Mdm Ang See Gee (pictured above) joined Sun City in 2007, and has since been promoted twice – in 2013 and 2015. Mdm Ang, 57, is now one of the three supervisors managing over 30 cleaners at SATS terminal.

Her salary has grown by over $800 since she started work as a cleaner. She now also receives a one-month bonus every year.

Sun City has also tapped on the Inclusive Growth Programme to purchase equipment and Job Redesign Grant under WorkPro to train its older workers to operate the equipment. Besides improving productivity, work has also been made safer and less strenuous.

(Photo Credit: Avelyn Ng) Hamzar Haji, 61, using a Hi-Jet machine to clean large floor areas with concentrated water jets.

cleaning machines

(Photo Credit: Avelyn Ng) Stand-on, ride-on, and orbital robotic scrubbers on standby for use in different environments.

Having gone through classes on management and machine operations, Mdm Ang now imparts her knowledge and guides newcomers.

She said in Mandarin: “I think the technology is a good thing. It helps to attract the youngsters. I always tell my older workers that you never know until you try the machines for yourselves. They will realise that their jobs become easier.”

Employers Can Take Action Today

If you are convinced that the PWM Bonus can work for your cleaning business, why not implement it ahead of 2020? To help you do so, TCC has released an addendum today with the eligibility and payment details of the PWM Bonus.

They can be summarised as follows:

  • The PWM Bonus will take effect from 1 January 2020 and is payable to Singapore Citizen and Permanent Resident cleaners who have worked for the same cleaning business for at least 12 months. The length of service eligibility will be waived for circumstances beyond the worker’s control such as when there is a change of service provider.
  • The total PWM Bonus quantum in a given year must be no less than two weeks of the cleaner’s basic monthly wage; and
  • The PWM Bonus is to be paid at least once but not more than twice a year.
The full addendum can be viewed here.

 Service Buyers’ Role

Service buyers too have a part to play in this transformation to uplift wages, productivity and service quality in the cleaning industry.

They are encouraged to:

  • Adopt outcome-based instead of headcount-based contracting to motivate service providers to adopt technology for better service outcomes.
  • Use the Price-Quality Method to evaluate tender submissions to place emphasis on the quality of the proposed services provided instead of price.
  • Ensure that tender prices commensurate with the level of service and investment in technology and training, without compromising the welfare of cleaners.
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