Mr Leon Perera asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment whether the COVID-19 Healthcare Award, or a similar award scheme, will be made available to cleaning staff in non-healthcare settings, to recognise their contribution to the national effort against COVID-19 as such workers bear the highest exposure risk outside of the healthcare field and are usually from lower-income backgrounds.
Ms Grace Fu Hai Yien: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, cleaning staff in both healthcare and non-healthcare settings have worked tirelessly to maintain public cleanliness and hygiene. We thank our cleaners for their hard work and contributions, and will continue to take care of them as we emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are several existing awards to recognise the contributions of our cleaners. The Clean and Green Singapore (CGS) Awards have been organised annually since 2003, where outstanding cleaners working in the community are recognised with CGS Best Cleaners Awards.
To recognise the exceptional contributions of our frontline workers in the Environmental Services (ES) industry, the National Environment Agency has organised the ES Workforce Day annually since 2018, with the support of tripartite partners including the Environmental Management Association of Singapore, the Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore, and the National Trades Union Congress. Exemplary individuals from the cleaning services sector are awarded the ES Star Award and Certificates of Excellence.
In addition, we will uplift the skills, wages and progression pathways of our cleaners through the Progressive Wage Model for Cleaning. With the six-year schedule of sustained wage increases released in May 2021 by the Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners, a General Cleaner can look forward to a monthly baseline wage of more than $2,400 by 2028, a 90% increase compared to today.
Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment
14 February 2022