The COVID-19 situation has brought renewed attention to our essential workers, where there is a discrepancy between the importance of their jobs, and the value society perceives it to be.

It has also brought to light to Singapore’s long-standing issue of cheap foreign labour, with a large population of foreign workers holding on to manual roles which are also deemed as essential.

A general cleaner earns $1,236 a month.

A security officer earns $1,250 a month.

The median pay of a construction worker is reported to be $1,200, though sources indicate that it could be as low as $18/day, with an overtime pay of $3/hour, as deductions have to be made to pay for levies and housing.

Despite the acknowledgement of the importance of these jobs, most of these wages are still at the bottom 5th percentile of the gross monthly wages of the Singapore workforce.

(The median gross income in Singapore is $4,563.)