Singapore urges private companies to have rest areas for outsourced workers


As part of Singapore government’s initiative to improve the work environment of low-wage workers such as cleaners and security officers, guidelines for companies to provide proper rest areas for outsourced workers were released on Monday, December 09.

The Tripartite Advisory on Provision of Rest Areas for Outsourced Workers was developed by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) under the government’s Workcare programme.

More than 600 stakeholders, including property owners and low-wage workers, were consulted.

Since April, manpower ministry inspectors visited more than 200 premises including food courts and shopping malls. They found that while most companies provided these workers with access to rest areas, some were unhygienic and had poor ventilation.

Several workers also received complaints when they used shared or public rest areas as they were misunderstood to be skiving, the tripartite partners found during the consultations.

Some of the recommendations in the guidelines include providing workers with lockers for their belongings, access to drinking water and having adequate ventilation in these rest areas.

Rest areas should also offer workers privacy by being located in the back-of-house or out of public view, the guidelines suggested. If it is not practical, companies can put up signs to indicate that the space is used as a rest area for outsourced workers.

Previously, having a rest area for outsourced workers was a “non-event”, but more companies have started to look into creating rest areas since the Government announced they were looking into this issue earlier this year. (Source: CNA)