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Security Officers to Earn Higher Wages, Work Shorter Hours, Become More Skilled in Next Few Years

The recommendations to professionalise and uplift the sector will benefit some 40,000 existing security officers.
Model ID: 2c101759-0cf4-43d9-9305-1a2dc7b14d3f Sitecore Context Id: 2c101759-0cf4-43d9-9305-1a2dc7b14d3f;
By Ian Tan Hanhonn 12 Nov 2021
Model ID: 2c101759-0cf4-43d9-9305-1a2dc7b14d3f Sitecore Context Id: 2c101759-0cf4-43d9-9305-1a2dc7b14d3f;

Some 40,000 existing security officers will earn higher wages, work shorter hours and become more skilled over the next few years, after the Security Tripartite Cluster (STC) recommended a series of changes to the industry’s Progressive Wage Model (PWM).

One of the proposed changes to the PWM wage schedule will see the gross monthly wage of an entry-level security officer start from a minimum of $2,650 from January 2024.

Additionally, to safeguard the security officers’ welfare under the new wage schedule, security officers can only work a maximum 72 hours per month in extra hours.

The extra hours cap is based on the standard 44-hour work week and will be enforced by the Police Licensing and Regulatory Department (PLRD).

The Government has since accepted the recommendations, which also aims to attract new talent into the sector.

“These recommendations are a result of careful and deliberate negotiations among the tripartite partners to ensure meaningful improvements to the lives of our security officers,” said Manpower Senior Minister of State Zaqy Mohamad.

NTUC Assistant Director-General Zainal Sapari said that bolder changes must be made as the security industry continues to be plagued by long working hours, an ageing workforce and low productivity.

“We want to see a future where our security officers can take full advantage of technologies, become more productive in their jobs, earn more while having more time to rest, and progress in their careers.

“The recommendations serve to make this a reality, with key suggestions and proposed interventions that we hope will make a marked difference in industry transformation efforts,” said Mr Zainal, who is also the chairman of the STC.

Three Key Recommendations

PWM Wage Schedule

The recommendations also include a six-year wage schedule starting from 1 January 2023.

While PWM baseline wages will continue to increase at 3 per cent for 2022, the STC recommends increasing security officers’ monthly wages in 2023, as well as having a fixed dollar quantum annual increment from 2024 to 2028.

The monthly gross wage across all security officer job levels will increase by an average Compound Annual Growth Rate of 6.6 per cent between 2022 to 2028.

Increasing Productivity

The STC also reiterated the need to raise industry standards and improve productivity of security officers through the adoption of technology and skills upgrading.

Better productivity can be achieved through the adoption of outcome-based contracting (OBC) and progressive procurement practices.

The STC encouraged the Government to consider providing transitional wage support to help the industry alleviate impact brought on by PWM wage increases.

Other recommendations to boost productivity include recommending service buyers to avoid cheap sourcing and to invest in technology; the exploration of job redesign or other ways to improve productivity and service outcomes; for security officers themselves to embrace upskilling and adopting a positive mindset towards continuous learning.

STC Co-Chair Jeffrey Chua said that uplifting the lives and livelihoods of security officers also go beyond employers and the Government, and will require society to do its part.

“We hope that the whole society would come along with us on this journey to help us raise the professionalism and service level of the security industry,” he said.

Improving Working Conditions

The STC also urged the Government to step up efforts to further reduce security officers’ overtime hours and improve working conditions.

The cluster will intensify its engagement and promotional efforts to continue its push for the industry to move away from the headcount-based contracting model.

STC said that special efforts should also be made to support security agencies who adopt progressive employment practices, while bringing those who seek to evade regulations to task.