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Singapore’s cleaning businesses must soon get licences

Cleaning businesses in Singapore will have to be licensed within five months of the Environmental Public Health (EPH) Amendment Bill coming into force.

SINGAPORE: Cleaning businesses in Singapore will have to be licensed within five months of the Environmental Public Health (EPH) Amendment Bill coming into force.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said this is expected to happen in April.

The Bill was introduced in Parliament on Monday.

The licensing regime will require cleaning businesses to have mandatory written employment contracts, to provide training and to implement the Progressive Wage Model (PWM).

NEA said this is to ensure that cleaners receive wages that commensurate with their skills, training and productivity.

NEA estimates that 55,000 resident cleaners will benefit from those requirements.

Businesses offering cleaning services at premises or any public spaces will need to be licensed.

Businesses that deal in specialised cleaning are exempted from the mandatory licensing regime. These include the cleaning of facades, pipelines and utility features, construction sites, clean rooms (laboratories or facilities with highly controlled conditions, including sterile conditions), hazardous or bio-hazardous areas, animal enclosures, swimming pools, aquariums and domestic cleaning.

Cleaning businesses will have to be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) Singapore or the Registry of Societies and show relevant experience.

NEA said cleaning businesses should have at least 50 per cent of their staff trained in at least one module within the Singapore Workforce Development Agency's WSQ
Environmental Cleaning (EC) Framework at the point of the first application.

At the time of licence renewal, 100 per cent of their staff should be trained.

Under the provisions of the Bill, cleaning businesses found operating without a valid licence will be liable to a maximum fine of S$10,000 or up to 12 months jail or both and S$1,000 every day for continuing offences.

Service buyers who engage unlicensed cleaning businesses will also be liable to a maximum fine of S$10,000 and S$1,000 every day for continuing offences.

Licensed cleaning businesses found to be in breach of licensing conditions may also face a maximum financial penalty of S$5,000 and risk having their licences suspended or revoked.  

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