Unionised employers in Singapore leading the way in re-hiring over 65s

Author: PM editorial | Date: 10 Aug 2016

It is ‘imperative to provide employment and employability for mature workers’, says National Trade Union Congress

Unionised organisations are leading the way in re-hiring Singapore’s over 65s, with three quarters of them actively employing older workers, according to new figures.
 
There are 1,400 unionised employers in the country and 1,016 are keeping workers on beyond the re-employment age of 65 –double the number that were re-hiring older workers last year.
 
In Singapore the retirement age is 62, but employers are required by law to offer re-employment to their older employees, up to the age of 65. On 1 July 2017, the re-employment age will increase to 67.
 
In a blog post on its website, the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) said it is “imperative that Singapore provides for mature workers’ employment and employability” because of the “declining birth rate, which is not enough to replace those retiring.”
 
“By 2020, for every retiring local, 1.1 locals are expected to enter the workforce, down from 1.4 in 2015,” said the NTUC. “Singapore’s labour force participation rate is at 83.1 per cent for residents aged 25 to 64 in 2015, already higher than many economies. This, coupled with the Government’s recent policies to reduce foreign manpower, means that tapping on mature workers is the only way to sustain the economy.”
 
NTUC deputy secretary-general Heng Chee How described the under-employment of older workers as a “strategic waste, which is unfair to mature workers who can and want to continue to contribute.”
 
At an NTUC roadshow event at Chevron House last week, a new guidebook called Understanding Re-employment was launched to help organisations adopt re-employment guidelines. It will be available to union leaders and HR teams in unionised organisations.
 
The book aims to help everyone better understand the revised re-employment guidelines and adopt them earlier.
 
Singapore recently established a S$66m fund to redesign jobs for older workers, through which organisations can apply for a grant of up to S$300,000 to make the workplace more accessible.