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Number of Cleaning Sector Workers and Median Salary

24th Feb 2021

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Dr Tan Wu Meng
MP for Jurong GRC

Question No. 485
To ask the Minister for Health at public healthcare institutions in each year from 2010 to 2020 (a) how many cleaning sector workers were deployed (i) overall and (ii) in patient care areas; (b) what proportion of these were (i) direct hires and (ii) outsourced respectively; and (c) what was the median salary for direct hires and outsourced workers respectively.

Written Answer
1      There were around 3,680 housekeeping and cleaning staff working in the public healthcare institutions1 as at end 2020.  Of these, about 3,550 were outsourced workers.  Overall, the number of direct hires for housekeeping and cleaning staff had decreased from approximately 170 in 2013 to 130 in 2020 and their average monthly salaries had increased by 33% from $1,380 in 2013 to $1,830 in 2020 (see Table 1 for details).

Table 1: Overall number of directly hired housekeeping and cleaning staff and average monthly base salary for local direct hires (2013 to 2020)









Number of Staff 2









Average monthly base salary 3 (Locals only)









2      Due to changes in data definition, we are only able to ascertain the number of direct hires and their salaries from 2013 onwards.  The public healthcare institutions only have information on the number of outsourced workers deployed as at end 2020 since this is recent.  They do not have data on the salaries of outsourced workers who are employed by third-party contractors.  Nonetheless, the third-party contractors engaged by our public healthcare institutions are required to adopt the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) for cleaners and abide by the Tripartite Guidelines for Fair Employment Practices to ensure that their staff are remunerated fairly according to the terms and conditions as stated under the Employment Act. 

3      Information on the number of staff deployed to patient care areas is also not available due to the dynamic nature of the staff rotation across different areas within the public healthcare institutions. 

Includes acute hospitals, specialty and medical centres, as well as polyclinics.
2 Data in terms of Full-Time Equivalents rounded to the nearest 10, based on submissions from the public healthcare institutions as of end December each year.
3 The monthly base salaries exclude the annual wage supplement, bonuses and also variable allowances payable to the staff. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 dollars.

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