Tripartite Partners’ New Advisory Means Better Rest Areas for Outsourced Workers
Singapore’s outsourced workers can look forward to better rest areas, thanks to the recommendations by MOM, NTUC and SNEF.
Who are these outsourced workers? They are the hardworking security officers, landscapers, and cleaners of Singapore. These workers should be provided with rest areas that come equipped with proper drinking water and ventilation.
Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) and National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) agree on these recommendations. The recommendations were set in a tripartite advisory that was jointly developed.
The advisory aims to set the standard of good practices for all of Singapore’s service providers and service buyers. Outsourced workers in Singapore should be provided with rest areas that were reasonable as part of the Workcare Initiative that was also launched. The initiative seeks to improve the working condition of some of the low-wage workers and enhance appreciation for the hard work they do.
Among the proposed recommendations include:
- Facilities to keep their belongings safely
- Easy access to available drinking water
- Rest areas with adequate ventilation
In preparing the recommendations, more than 600 stakeholders were consulted prior to the proposal. These stakeholders included property owners, low-wage outsource workers and service buyers and providers. More than 200 work premises were visited by MOM to observe the conditions these workers were under. These premises included food courts and shopping malls.
Some Premises Not Meeting Standard
Approximately 70% of these premises employed outsource workers, but did not meet the standard in terms of quality. Some areas were unhygienic, inadequately sheltered and had poor ventilation. MOM acknowledge that expectations needed to be set, thus the new proposal.
MOM stated that service buyers had to be actively engaged by service providers. The service buyers had to be responsible for providing these rest areas and those who could not needed to extend access to existing rest areas, making them available to the workers.
The Tripartite Advisory serves as a first step in the right direction toward improving the working conditions of these workers. The NTUC did acknowledge that this could be a challenge with some of the older commercial buildings. Service buyers and building owners in Singapore are encouraged to view the matter seriously, as the outsource workers should not have to be in makeshift and unsafe areas.
When the welfare of these workers is made a priority, service buyers benefit from a happier and more productive workforce.