SINGAPORE: Security agencies could get better grades on the annual police audit if they improve the wages and welfare of their workers.
Some security firms made this point when they spoke to Channel NewsAsia after results of this year’s grading were released to the media on December 3.
Forty-eight per cent of the companies assessed received the lowest grades of C and D.
This is worse than the 45 per cent of security agencies graded poorly last year.
Shine Security is one of 40 agencies that received an ‘A’ rating.
The company said it places a lot of attention on the welfare of security officers and this may have helped it clinch the top rating every year since 2009.
The company’s welfare officer Hareenderpal Singh said: “Not only in terms of wages, and working hours, but we are talking about other benefits as well.”
In this year’s grading exercise, 28 per cent of security firms got a ‘C’, while 20 per cent got a ‘D’.
Getting a ‘C’ grade indicates a firm’s performance was only satisfactory, while a ‘D’ means it was unsatisfactory.
Industry players say there may have been a greater emphasis on security officer’s wages in the grading scheme.
The average basic pay for a security officer currently is about S$800. The labour movement is also trying to improve the wages of security officers by introducing the Progressive Wage Model in the industry.
Robert Wiener, president of Association of Certified Security Agencies, said: “We need to raise the salaries of our guards. Some are still working at S$600. It needs to go to S$750, S$800 and eventually the government is looking at S$1,000.”
The labour movement has also been trying to introduce the Progressive Wage Model into the industry, and observers said one way to do this is to include the model as part of the grading criteria.
Mr Singh said: “It doesn’t just benefit the security officers, it benefits the company as well in terms of productivity, and price. Once the Progressive Wage Model comes in, there is a less likely chance for companies competing with each other on price. They start to compete on value-add services.”
Industry players said that security companies should also try to reduce the long working hours their officers.
This could reduce fatigue, and help improve their vigilance and performance on the job.