Sunday 22 July 2012

Nearly all local workers retiring in 2011 offered jobs beyond 62

Channel NewsAsia, 20 Jul 2012

Nearly all local employees in private establishments retiring in 2011 were offered employment beyond 62.

79 per cent of private establishments have also already put in place measures to allow their local employees to work beyond 62 in 2011, ahead of the implementation of the re-employment legislation in January 2012.

These are the key findings of a survey conducted by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in the last quarter of 2011.

Its Research and Statistics Department covered 3,200 private establishments, each with at least 25 employees. 90 per cent of the establishments responded.

MOM said on Friday that amid the tight labour market and tripartite efforts at promoting re-employment, 11,100 (97 per cent) of the 11,500 local workers retiring in 2011 were offered employment beyond 62. Of the retiring cohort, 92 per cent (10,600 workers) accepted the offer.

64 per cent of the retiring cohort continued working on their existing contracts, while 28 per cent were re-hired under a new contract, mostly with no change in their job scope.

One company, F&B outlet Mr Bean, currently has 28 workers aged 62 and above.

Operations director Thomas Koh said that most older workers value their colleagues and work environment.

He said: "Some of them that enjoy the work and they feel that they still can cope, a lot of them will probably continue to stay back. I would say there isn't really a trigger factor here that when they reach 62, they must retire. It's not something we see in our company.

"To them what's more important is that do they still enjoy working with the people here, the environment. That actually have a more direct impact on whether they stayed back with the company or not."

On the company end, 79 per cent said they had implemented measures for their local employees to work beyond 62 in 2011, compared with 77 per cent in 2010.

They employed a large majority (88 per cent) of the local employees in the private sector, higher than the 85 per cent in 2010.

57 per cent of all private establishments allowed their employees to continue working on existing contracts, while 22 per cent offered re-employment.

MOM said larger establishments were more likely to offer re-employment than smaller establishments.

More locals were hired in establishments offering re-employment (50 per cent), than in establishments allowing continuation on existing contracts (38 per cent).

89 per cent of private establishments offering re-employment indicated 12 months as the minimum duration of the re-employment contracts.

MOM said in line with tripartite guidelines, almost all (95 per cent) reported that the re-employment contracts were renewable up till the age of 65, as long as the employees continue to meet medical and work performance requirements.

More private establishments offering re-employment had engaged their retiring employees in re-employment consultation in 2011. 75 per cent had such a policy, compared with 61 per cent the year before.

36 per cent of private establishments had local employees who turned 62 in the year ending June 2011, involving some 11,500 local employees. This was an increase from 32 per cent and 9,900 local employees in 2010.

Minister of State for Manpower and National Development, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, said he is glad to see private establishments embracing the Silver Workforce, even before the Retirement and Re-employment Act (RRA) came into force.

He said in his blog on July 20 that he believes that this is due to the tight labour market, as well as tripartite efforts to promote re-employment.

He said the tripartite partners will press on with efforts to ensure that older workers are among those Singaporeans with good jobs at the core of the workforce.

Mr Tan said Singapore's Silver Workforce will increasingly become a valuable asset that companies should look at preserving, as the country eases its reliance on foreign manpower and moves towards a more-productivity-driven economy.

"Beyond the economic nuts and bolts, it's also about doing right by our older Singaporeans," said Mr Tan.

From this year, the baby boomers - those born between 1947 and 1965 - will start to turn 65.

By 2030, there will be fewer working-age citizens to support a growing elderly population.

Mr Tan said re-employment helps ensure that healthy older workers who can and want to continue contributing to their organisations are offered the opportunities to do so.

It helps them sustain a regular income and build up their retirement adequacy, hence maintaining their dignity as active and contributing members of society.

Mr Tan said: "Each of us can play our part - be it as employer, employee or even a colleague. Make every effort to stamp out ageist mindsets and treasure the cumulative knowledge and experience of our Silver Workforce. Value and recognise their contributions, and accord the respect they have both earned and deserved in bringing us where we are today.

"Our attitudes towards our elders and how we treat them reflect not just the values of the society we live and work in now, but also represent the legacy we pass on to our children."

A human resource expert Channel NewsAsia spoke to said it is important to keep workers who are close to the retirement age engaged.

Dhirendra Shantilal, senior vice president, Asia Pacific, Kelly Services, said: "When you have an employee that has worked with you for such a long time and is reaching the retirement age, you don't want to just disconnect.

"You want to make sure there's engagement, and so a lot of companies start talking to them much earlier, so that they don't lose that skill set that they have in the organisation."

And experts expect this trend to continue as the government continues to persuade more employers that old is gold.

No comments:

Post a Comment