Singapore ranks among top countries in older workers’ employment, MOM minister says

by HRD10 Apr 2017
Singapore ranks among the top countries in terms of the employment rate of older workers aged 55-64, Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say said last week. He said the figure has steadily increased over the last 5 years, from 64% in 2012 to 67.3% in 2016.

The minister pointed out that about 70% of employers are willing to redesign job scopes to accommodate older workers, according to a 2016 survey by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP).

TAFEP and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has, on average, received less than 80 age discrimination complaints against employers per year, he said. “This constituted about 10% of the total complaints received by TAFEP and MOM each year.”

The government will raise the re-employment age to 67 from 65 starting July 1. The policy will apply to workers younger than 65 during the day it takes effect.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said last February that the government will provide “more support” for firms hiring older workers. This comes amid the government’s efforts to speed up the adoption of progressive HR practices across all firms.

Last November, the government launched the Human Capital Partnership (HCP) Programme a tripartite initiative of the Government, unions, and employees that brings together employers who have committed to grow their businesses and stay competitive by having progressive employment practices, and developing their human capital.

In a speech last February, Lim said HCP “values” mature workers. He cited the case of 69-year-old Gee Sey Tan of The American Club, where close to 40% of its workforce are mature workers.
“[Gee] has been with the club as an Executive Chef for 20 years. When he turned 62 some 7 years ago, the American Club did not just re-employ him. It went the extra mile to redesign his job, to allow him to take on a less physically taxing role.”

“Today, Sey Tan does less cooking, but more mentoring. His age and experience are seen as assets, not liabilities. The American Club even sponsored him for further studies. True to the spirit of life-long learning, Sey Tan now has a Professional Diploma in Leadership and People Management, which adds value to his current role.”


Related stories:
Government to provide more support for firms hiring older workers
Should Singapore do away with a statutory retirement age?
 

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