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NTUC U Women and Family joins forces with cleaning firm to pioneer first-of-a-kind programme for women returners

500 flexi-time roles with progressive wages will be available.
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By Nicolette Yeo 29 Apr 2023
chye tiam cub programme.jpeg (From left to right) Chye Thiam Maintenance Chief Executive Officer Edy Tan with U WAF Director Yeo Wan Ling and NTUC's e2i Deputy Chief Executive Officer Brian Tan.
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NTUC U Women and Family (U WAF) has teamed up with environmental services firm Chye Thiam Maintenance to launch a first-of-a-kind programme that offers 500 roles that cater to women’s caregiving schedules.

Called C U Back at work (CUB), the programme will see successful women returners be part of an elite cleaning workforce redesigned with flexible work arrangements, specialised training, and a progressive career pathway.

Chye Thiam Maintenance is unionised under the Building Construction and Timber Industries Employees’ Union (BATU).

The company’s Chief Executive Officer Edy Tan announced the programme on 29 April 2023 at the e2i Career Fair @ Oasis Terraces in Punggol.

NTUC U WAF Director Yeo Wan Ling shared: “There are 240,000 women of economic age outside the workforce due to caregiving responsibilities. Greater flexibility in working arrangements will go a long way in supporting women who juggle work with caregiving responsibilities.

“Chye Thiam Maintenance’s commitment towards creating a better work environment for women returners marks a first step for the industry, where previously flexible work arrangements were unheard of.

“It shows that this is possible even in an industry with very operational work and fixed hours. We hope this initiative will inspire other industries and companies towards creative ways of incorporating flexible work arrangements in various professions.”

What is the CUB programme about?

Returners can look forward to a six-week career trial comprising seven curated training modules and on-job training.

They will receive a $30 skills incentive for completing each technical training module in their salaries. There will also be a retention bonus and one-off $100 incentive for each completed module.

Returners can expect starting salaries of up to $3,000 a month, inclusive of the skills incentive. This is higher than the minimum $2,010 and $2,210 multi-skilled cleaners and machine operators, and supervisors will earn under the cleaning Progressive Wage Model from 1 July 2023 to 20 June 2024.

After completing the training, the workers will be placed on a career roadmap that will enable them to progress towards specialised and supervisory roles.

What kind of flexible work arrangements will you get?

Under the CUB programme, returners can choose their working hours in three to four-hour blocks and be deployed at any time.

They can also choose their training time to meet their caregiving schedules.

BATU General Secretary Noor Irdawaty praised the company’s efforts in redesigning jobs for women returners.

Our union is glad to support CTM [Chye Thiam Maintenance] in opening more job opportunities for women, especially those seeking better work-family balance. This is an innovative step towards attracting a bigger pool of manpower to meet the needs of the cleaning industry.

“We look forward to seeing more companies adopting flexible work arrangements as it is a win-win solution for employers and employees.”

What other jobs are available?

A progressive career fair organised by U WAF and NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) was also held at the event.

It featured 11 progressive employers offering flexible work and part-time roles to female returnees and others.

These employers have adopted the Tripartite Standards under the Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices.

Missed the job fair? Not to worry. Visit the newly launched progressive jobs portal at to check out the over 2,000 jobs offered by 44 employers.