Security guards exempted from overtime limit?

I refer to the article “Basic pay for security officers to go up by $300 over next 3 years, limit on overtime hours” (Straits Times, Nov 23).

It states that “Security officers will be paid more while working fewer overtime hours each month in future.

They will see their basic pay go up by around $300 over the next three years, and also receive an annual increment of at least 3 per cent in the three years after that, under recommendations the Government accepted on Thursday (Nov 23).

In respect of “All security officers will be allowed to put in a maximum of only 72 overtime (OT) hours a month” – isn’t this just a marginal improvement from the current 95 hours?

As to “The current practice – in which security companies apply for OT exemptions so their employees can work past this limit – will be discontinued from 2021” – why must it take another three years to discontinue this “slave hours” work routine?

“The higher basic pay and subsequent annual increments are intended to offset the cap on OT hours.

Security agencies must adopt the new recommendations from Jan 1, 2019.

In June 2016, the median basic wage of full-time security officers was $1,300.

With the changes, security officers will see a total increase of $300 to basic monthly wages under the progressive wage model by 2021, and a total increase of $285 for those in senior ranks over the same period.

Wages should rise by $75 a month in 2019 and the same amount in 2020, followed by a $150 raise in monthly wages in 2021.”

As to “The STC said the higher increments are to ensure security officers’ gross wages will not be “adversely affected due to a reduction in overtime hours”” – does it mean that the gross wages may end up being the same as now – with the increment just offsetting the reduction in overtime wages?

With regard to “the security sector has the highest average weekly overtime per worker, according to a 2014 report by the STC, which first mooted removing OT exemptions in 2014. Security officers clock as many as 95 hours of overtime each month” – can you imagine working about 72 hours a week – every week – which I understand may be the norm.

Also, why are security officers in a sense being discriminated – by giving their industry this overtime exemption?

For how many years has this been going on? – And I believe this may never have been reported in the media.

Leong Sze Hian

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8 Responses to “Security guards exempted from overtime limit?”

  • N.Jungne:

    Loong overdue – Wayang to buy support

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  • Focus on "over-paid":

    Instead of focusing on “over-time” it is better to focus on those that are “over-paid”. Top of the heap is the clowns in Cabinet – over-paid, incompetent and no accountability.

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  • Lye Khuen Way:

    Imagine doctors doing OT in the range of 90+odd hours per week!

    So, if Security Guards are deemed capable of not sleeping on the jobs and yet delivering the standard expected, I would expect our Members of Parliament and our Ministers and other Office Holders not to miss any Parliamentary Sessions and be seen to participate intelligently in all debates and proceedings.

    No, it’s physically not possible. Let’s get Real. And have a heart. The age of Slavery is supposed to be long over.

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  • Crazy hours and underpaid:

    Disappointed that the crazy work hours of 6 x 12 hours week is still allowed in Security Industry.Should practice 3 rotating shifts of 8 hrs to prevent fatigue and emsure SOs are alert to handle terror threat.

    Those in charge should try the long hours and understand the harm it does to the SOs.
    Many of them will have health problem in their later stage of their life from such long working hours week.
    The pay rise should have started in 2018 as SO are underpaid for such long working hours…

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  • Harder Truths:

    There will be no raise.

    They will be replaced by CCTV and other electronic gadgets. This is happening all over the world why not here?

    Remember Uber? Where is justice in $G for taci drivers now (even though they don’t deserve it – always voting for pappies KNNCCB)

    Those security guards willing to work will be given lower pay than present for the ‘sacrifice’ of the employer to take then on (out of the kindness of their hearts).

    Or else if they KPKB then can be replaced by a cardboard police man.

    We are all going to be replaced by robots very soon.

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  • Sad State:

    The Security Industry sad state of affairs for SOs with excessive overtime (long hours) and underpay is set to continue ….
    Maybe it is time to replace those involved with decision making for the Security Industry …

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  • nathan:

    Have Gun Will Travel.

    Paladin, Paladin where do you roam?

    Paladin, Paladin, far far away from home…

    Security Guards are called Ang Pai boh Cheng.

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  • Bad deal for SOs:

    The deal work out is not that meaningful.It does not help the sad state of affairs for the SOs here.
    Too little too late…such long hours for miserable pay…

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