The Security Tripartite Cluster (STC) has recommended to increase the wage floor of security officers starting from 2019 after reviewing the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) and overtime exemption (OTE) for the private security industry.
The STC, in consultation with the tripartite partners, has recommended to increase the PWM wage floors starting from 2019, and remove OTE with effect from January 2021.
The recommendations are said to take into consideration, amongst others, the need to ensure security officers achieve sustained moderate wage growth; as well as the impact on their gross wages when their overtime hours are reduced.
STC stated that an estimated 34,000 resident security officers will benefit from the changes.
There are three key recommendation, which is a total increase of $300 to the PWM basic wage floor for Security Officer ranks; and $285 for Senior Security Officers and above ranks from 2019 to 2021.
"Higher quantum increments are recommended in 2021 – the year that OTE is removed – so that most security officers’ gross wages would not be adversely affected due to a reduction in overtime hours," the press release said.
For 2022 to 2024, the STC also recommended an annual increment of at least 3 percent per annum to the PWM basic wage floor across all ranks, subject to review.
"This will help the industry better plan and budget for manpower costs in their new service contracts. The Schedule of Increases would also mitigate any wage reset for the security officers when the contract is renewed or a new service contract is awarded to a different service provider," it stressed.
The STC also recommended to remove the issuance of OTE with effect from 1 January 2021.
Currently, security agencies are issued OTE to meet their operational needs on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, to improve the working conditions and achieve better work-life balance for the security officers.
"The STC discussed and agreed that a three-year lead time was necessary for security agencies and service buyers to review their operations and manpower needs, and implement solutions to reduce their reliance on man-hours," it stressed.
In addition, the STC encouraged security agencies to adopt minimum-maximum wage ratios of: 1.2 for Security Officer rank, 1.3 for Senior Security Officer and Security Supervisor ranks, and 1.5 for Senior Security Supervisor rank.
"The ratio serves as a tool to encourage companies to move away from a seniority-based wage structure towards a productivity-based wage structure. Security agencies are encouraged to adopt the recommended min-max ratios to reward deserving employees," STC stated.
These days, there are increasing demand for security services and the current security climate has accentuated the need for adequate and quality security services.
Therefore, leveraging technology solutions to augment the manpower supply in a tight labour market would be one of the most effective ways to derive better security outcomes and yet moderate increasingly higher manpower costs.
The STC strongly urged security agencies to start planning early and to work with their service buyers to review their operations and manpower needs.
"Security agencies are encouraged to tap on existing Government grants under the Lean Enterprise Development Scheme, such as the Inclusive Growth Programme, Capability Development Grant, and SMEs Go Digital, to implement solutions to raise productivity and become more manpower-lean," it stated.
On the training front, the STC strongly encouraged all security officers to continue to upgrade their skills, so that they have the opportunity to progress to higher value-add jobs and at the same time, earn more.
"At the same time, service buyers are encouraged to work with their respective security agencies to enable their outsourced security officers to attend training," it added.