Raise the wages of service staff or implement a tipping culture?

10 September, 2019
By Dharshini in Human Resource

Raise The Wages Of Service Staff Or Implement A Tipping Culture?

The wages for service staff has been a longstanding debate. These particular group of employees are subjected to long working hours, even longer overtime hours and nasty remarks from customers - all for a meagre hourly rate figure.

In countries like United States, service crew can rely on tips to boost their daily or monthly earnings. According to the United States Department of Labor, the minimum hourly rate that a tipped restaurant service crew in United States earn is USD2.13 (SGD2.85) per hour. In general, the tipping rate in United States ranges between 15% to 20% of the total bill, depending on the quality of service. Most of the time, these tips are for the service crew themselves to keep.

In Singapore, there is no minimum wage law implemented. However, service crew in Singapore can expected to earn only about SGD6 to SGD10 per hour. Moreover, tipping is not customary in Singapore - even in restaurants. In some places, such as airport, airport staff are forbidden from accepting tips.

With this single-figure hourly rate, coupled with the 10 hours and 6 days work week that service crew are expected to work, this brings their monthly salaries to around SGD1,000 to SGD1,500 at best. Is this amount sufficient for service crew to get by? Certainly not.

The solution? Raise the hourly wages for service crew or implement a tipping culture in Singapore.


Raising the hourly wage for service crew can help employees to cope with the increasing cost of living in Singapore. Moreover, having a wage structure with annual increments helps to ensure a sustainable wage amount for employees. However, implementation of a fixed pay structure can also mean higher labour costs for the business. Likewise, meal prices might hike up in order to compensate for the increase in labour costs.

On the other hand, suppose Singapore introduces a tipping culture within the service industry, this could significantly reduce labour costs for businesses. The additional “monies” provided to service crew depends solely on the quality of service and attitude of the employee. Yet one main concern is the attitude of Singaporean themselves. While Singapore has been ranked as the 28th most generous country in the world (according to the World Giving Index), the generosity is dependent on whether it will make a significant contribution to society or not.

Incorporating a tipping culture in Singapore is certainly not out of the question. While it might deviate from the societal norm of Asian countries, a significant amount of effort and time is require to ingrain this tipping culture in Singapore.

Why companies should move to a reduced work week

10 September, 2019
By G-Team in Human Resource

Why Companies Should Move To A Reduced Work Week

The standard workweek that we know of today is 40 hours - eight hours a day for five days a week. In some industries, this stretches up to a maximum of 44 hours a week - an additional four hours on the sixth day of the week.

While this is legal in Singapore, whereby employees covered under the Employment Act are allowed to work a maximum of 44 hours per week, this might seem excessive in other countries.

Today, a 40-hour workweek has become the social and cultural norm. Ironically, anything more is deemed as excessive while anything less is seen as skiving on the job.

Theoretically, as one becomes more prosperous in terms of wealth, it is only natural to opt to work fewer hours. However, that does not seem to be the situation. Instead, people continue working at the same pace or even clocking in more working hours. All these productivity is channeled into higher levels of material consumption - bigger houses, fancier gadgets and high-end cars, yet people do not have the time to enjoy it. The solution? A reduction in the standard workweek.

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Why companies should move to a reduced work week

03 September, 2019
By Dharshini in Human Resource

Why Companies Should Move To A Reduced Work Week

The standard workweek that we know of today is 40 hours - eight hours a day for five days a week. In some industries, this stretches up to a maximum of 44 hours a week - an additional four hours on the sixth day of the week.

While this is legal in Singapore, whereby employees covered under the Employment Act are allowed to work a maximum of 44 hours per week, this might seem excessive in other countries.

Today, a 40-hour workweek has become the social and cultural norm. Ironically, anything more is deemed as excessive while anything less is seen as skiving on the job.

Theoretically, as one becomes more prosperous in terms of wealth, it is only natural to opt to work fewer hours. However, that does not seem to be the situation. Instead, people continue working at the same pace or even clocking in more working hours. All these productivity is channeled into higher levels of material consumption - bigger houses, fancier gadgets and high-end cars, yet people do not have the time to enjoy it. The solution? A reduction in the standard workweek.


As society today gradually moving towards a flexible work arrangement, taking it a step further by calling for shorter work weeks can significantly improve the quality of life. Here are some clear benefits for the environment, economy and society in implementing a shorter work week.

1. Productive Employees

Employees who work less tend to be more productive by the hour as compared to employees who continually push themselves beyond the social norm of 40 hours every week. These employees are likely to be less prone to fatigue and burnout, reducing the rate of absenteeism and resulting in a committed and productive workforce.

2. Improved well-being

A shorter work week would mean that employees have more time to spend with their loved ones and friends or activities they enjoy. This can greatly reduce stress levels and improve employees' physical and mental health. Working less can also help people move away from the mindset of living to work and earning to consume, allowing people to appreciate the little things that truly matter in life.

3. Reduced carbon footprint

With fewer hours spent in the office, this would naturally mean a lower paper consumption rate. In turn, it will allow companies and society as a whole to move towards a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly workplace.

4. Gender equality

Women are currently expected to juggle between family and workplace commitments. Moving towards a shorter work week as the new societal "norm" can help to change perception about gender roles and promote an equal share of family and workplace commitments between both genders.

mother daughter love sunset

5. A stronger democracy

With reduce working hours, people will have more time to be involved in community activities, engage in politics or even volunteer work. This will eventually help to build a stronger and more cohesive society.

While there are numerous benefits to a shorter work week, any move towards reducing the number of working hours needs to be implemented gradually. Concurrently, efforts should be made to strengthen the workplace culture in order to accommodate this change. Such a change might not be immediate but it is definitely only matter of time.

The Art of Salary Negotiation

29 August, 2019
By G-Team in Payroll
Suppose you sailed through an interview and finally landed on that dream job which you have always wanted. But as the HR runs through with you your compensation package, you realise that the starting salary figure is not what you had in mind. Or worse, it is significantly lower than what you had expected. What should you do then?
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