Number of firms re-hiring workers over 65 doubles ahead of law change

by Lucy Hook09 Aug 2016
The number of unionised companies re-hiring workers over the age of 65 has almost doubled from last year, ahead of the law change next July - which will see the re-employment age in Singapore raised from 65 to 67.

The change in law, which was announced by the government in April and comes into effect from 1 July 2017, will mean that companies are obliged to offer re-employment to eligible workers who reach retirement age until they are 67.

The labour movement said on Monday that out of a total of 1,400 unionised firms, a significant 1,016 are already keeping on workers over the age of 65, compared to 585 last year, Straits Times reported.

Of those who firms that were employing workers aged 65 and over, 183 had a written policy in place to re-employ up to the age of 67 – up from 102 the previous year.

Heng Chee How, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) deputy secretary-general, said that while unionised firms were ahead of their non-unionised counterparts in adapting to the upcoming law change, the NTUC would be “more than happy” to advise non-unionised companies, describing the development as a “whole-of-country-effort”.

Speaking at an NTUC roadshow on Monday, Heng Chee discussed the possible reasons why many companies are still to implement written policies on re-employment of older workers.

He suggested that it may be because “they want to get more guidance and more information to do it right", Straits Times reported.

Heng added that he hoped a new NTUC handbook on re-employment, which was launched at the roadshow, would help more companies to "do it early, and do it right".

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