More unionised firms re-hiring older workers: NTUC

August 10, 201611:16 am252 views

SINGAPORE — The number of unionised companies re-hiring older workers beyond 65 years of age, as well as those with a written policy to re-employ workers up to age 67, has nearly doubled in the past year.

As of last month, almost three-quarters, or 1,016 of the 1,400-odd unionised firms here, were re-hiring older workers aged over 65. This is about 74 per cent higher than the 585 unionised firms that did so in July last year.

Mr Heng Chee How, deputy secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), revealed these figures yesterday, which were based on surveys conducted by the NTUC initiative, U Live. Mr Heng was speaking to the press on the sidelines of a roadshow in Chevron House at Raffles Place, to raise awareness of the re-employment rights of mature workers, among other things.

Of the 1,016 unionised companies re-employing workers beyond 65 years old, 183 had a written policy to re-hire them up to age 67 as of last month, a 79-per-cent jump from the 102 companies with such a policy last July.

From July 1 next year, the Government will raise the re-employment age from 65 to 67.

Describing the progress made so far as “very good”, Mr Heng said that he expected the unionised sector to be ahead of the non-unionised one in adopting this practice, as was the case in the run-up to the law introduced in 2012 that required employers to re-hire workers up to the age of 65.

Mr Heng called on all firms, including non-unionised ones, to consult NTUC, the Singapore National Employers Federation or the Manpower Ministry if they need advice on re-hiring older workers.

At the roadshow, a re-employment guidebook aimed at union leaders and human resource practitioners was unveiled, to help them better understand the revised guidelines on re-hiring older employees.

Mr Heng hopes that it will help unionised and non-unionised firms adopt the guidelines early and “do it right”. KENNETH CHENG

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