PAP town councils to provide outsourced workers with dedicated rest areas

PAP town councils to provide outsourced workers with dedicated rest areas

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An estate cleaner seen sweeping at a block of flats along Yishun Avenue 2. (Photo: Najeer Yusof/TODAY)

SINGAPORE: The People’s Action Party’s (PAP) town councils are working with contractors to set aside designated rest areas for outsourced workers, including in utility or store rooms.

The move comes after a set of guidelines was released on Monday (Dec 9) for companies to provide proper rest areas for outsourced workers such as cleaners and security officers. Recommendations included providing facilities for workers to keep their belongings safe and access to drinking water.

In response to queries from CNA, Dr Teo Ho Pin, coordinating chairman of the PAP town councils, said that town councils “support the provision of proper rest areas for conservancy and horticulture workers”.

Dr Teo, who is also the chairman of the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council, said that rest areas could be located in utility rooms or store areas that are big enough to fit basic amenities such as table, chairs and fans, and have access points for water and electricity.

At least two town councils have already set up rest areas for their workers.

Nee Soon Town Council said they have five resting areas for its cleaners, one in each constituency within Nee Soon GRC. These spaces are furnished with appliances such as electric kettles and refrigerators, as well as lockers, tables and chairs.

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Jurong-Clementi Town Council, which has about 500 outsourced workers, said its rest areas are mostly located in utility rooms.

Some contractors also rent accommodation near their workers’ workplace, and these double-up as a rest area for workers, they said.

Tampines Town Council said that their workers usually rest at common areas such as void decks or coffee shops.

All three town councils said that they will study the guidelines to determine how they can implement some of the recommendations.

CNA has approached Aljunied-Hougang Town Council for comment.

The Tripartite Advisory on Provision of Rest Areas for Outsourced Workers was developed by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress and the Singapore National Employers Federation.

MOM said that it has been engaging town councils and public agencies “to ensure outsourced workers have access to proper and reasonable rest areas where practicable”, and  that it will share more details at a later date.

Source: CNA/rp(aj)

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