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Parliamentary Replies

Proposal for Government to Lead the Way to Implement Shorter Work Shifts for Security Officers

04 Apr 2022
Parliamentary Question by Mr Raj Joshua Thomas:

To ask the Minister for Finance whether the Government, as one of the largest buyers of security services, will consider changing the working hours for security officers in all Government tenders from the current 12-hour shifts to 8- to 10-hour shifts, so as to improve the work-life harmony and working conditions of officers deployed at Government sites.

Parliamentary Reply by Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong:

Since May 2020, the Government has started to adopt Outcome-Based Contracts for the procurement of security services. Except in cases where public agencies have requirements which cannot avoid the need for manned operations to meet security outcomes, new tenders are generally required to specify outcomes rather than dictate a fixed number of headcounts or the number of shift hours to be performed by the security officers. This allows security service providers to provide optimal security solutions that integrate manpower, technology and processes. Security service providers have the flexibility to decide on the duration of each security officer’s shift.

To safeguard the welfare of security officers, their working hours are protected by the Employment Act, which caps overtime work to 72 hours per month. While security service providers were previously granted exemptions to exceed this cap, this has been removed since January 2021.

With the shift towards outcome-based contracting, the jobs of security officers have been redesigned. The Government will continue working with tripartite partners to examine ways to further improve the working conditions of security officers.