If you’re sulking over the quality of cleaning done by your full time helper at home or feeling agonized by the behaviour and skill level of a part time cleaner that you hired recently, then this post is just for you.
Low standards of cleaning and unprofessional work attitude is a wide-spread problem faced by many Singaporean home and office owners. And at times its not the workers or cleaners who are at fault but rather the errant services providers who don’t observe fair employment policies, hire unskilled individuals and even underpay their staff.
But the good news is that the National Envrionment Agency (NEA) has got into action to introduce some order and standards for the cleaning businesses in Singapore. Let me share more about this and most importantly how you as a customer can benefit from it.
NEA Cleaning Business License – What is it for and what does it entail?
A Cleaning Business License by NEA aims to impose better employment standards in the cleaning industry so as to ensure reliability and professionalism of cleaning services delivered in Singapore. From September 2014 onwards Businesses that provide general cleaning services (to Public and Private sectors) at premises or any public places in Singapore will need to be licensed. With exceptions given only for those belonging to the excluded cleaning works category.
The License needs to be renewed every year and there are penalties of upto S$10,000 for those who operate without a valid license.
To earn this license a Sinapore Cleaning Company is required to –
- Be registered with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) or Registry of Societies (ROS)
- Have an existing Cleaning Business – at least 1 cleaning contract on-going OR completed in the 12 months before applying
- In case of start-ups have employees with demonstrated understanding, training, practical experience in cleaning
- Send their Cleaners for training courses under WSQ framework or other relevant training programmes
- Submit a progressive wage plan for their cleaners
Scope of Licensing
The following is the scope of Licensing regime –
- Businesses that provide general cleaning services at premises or any public places in Singapore will need to be licensed
- Companies employing in-house cleaners to clean their premises are exempted from this requirement
- Those who provide housekeeping services to hotels, hostels and serviced apartments are required to be licensed
- Accredited cleaning companies such as those with Clean Mark accredition will already comply with the licensing requirements
Benefits of hiring a NEA Licensed Cleaning Company
So what does all of the above mean to the end customer? In terms of the benefits here’s what it gives to the end user –
License requirement ensures that employees working for the company are well-trained or undergo the required training. With experienced and trained professionals doing the job, consumers can get superior quality of services.
Better Employment Standards
Cleaners have a pathway to higher wages in the future….they aren’t exploited, tend to have better work attitude and be more productive. Happy workers mean better standard of service and professionalism for consumers.
Better Quality of Services
Companies that offer cleaning services are valid business entities on the record and having a track record in providing such services.
Peace of Mind
Customers don’t have to fear of being involved in any kind of fraudulent practices such as hiring illegal or moonlighting workers
The licensing criteria thus ensures that the employees receive the wage they deserve and at the same time put in their efforts in honing their skills. It’s a win-win situation for the consumer as well as the employees. Business owners are also reminded to raise their game and uprade the service standards they provide whilst boosting their reputation. So, next time before you hire and sign the contract with a Cleaning Company do so only after to verify their NEA Cleaning Business License.