The United Overseas Bank (UOB) recently announced its plan to launch a gig employment model for retired employees to return to the workforce on a flexible basis. As part of the organization’s efforts to strengthen its multi-generation workforce strategy, the programme aims to build an inclusive and diverse workforce of the future.
UOB makes the move after seeing the growing trend of Singaporeans wanting to work beyond retirement age. Quoting data from the annual Labour Force Survey by the Ministry of Manpower, the employment rate of residents aged 65 and above increased from 27.6 percent in 2019 to 28.5 percent in 2020.
A staff survey conducted by the company also revealed 8 in 10 employees said that they would consider some form of work after retirement. They also shared that they would prefer a flexible work scheme (for example, shortened work hours, set periods of work, and pay for service options) as the ability to maintain work-life balance is their top priority post-retirement.
Mr Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, UOB, said, “We remain committed to growing our own timber through our comprehensive reskilling programmes, while also bringing in fresh talent to complement our capabilities. Our gig employment model is an innovative approach to creating a flexible workforce which taps on current demographic and social trends. Besides creating flexible opportunities for our retirees to stay active and for the Bank to tap on valuable skills and experience, it is also helping to create a vibrant society in Singapore where contribution and connection is not limited by age.”
As part of its plan, the bank will open up short-term and project-based opportunities to retirees in the areas where deep technical expertise and extensive experience are highly valued such as customer service, process and systems training, operations, and project advisory. UOB will also test the feasibility of opening its flexible gig employment model to more people in time to come.
To address common concerns of gig workers, UOB will offer healthcare benefits and insurance coverage for such roles and put in place a seamless and simplified performance management process.
Prior to the programme’s full launch in 2022, UOB conducted an initial pilot with retirees working in its branches to test and assess the type of roles that are suitable for gig work. The learnings from the pilot will be used to refine the gig employment model to maximise productivity and to ensure a fulfilling work experience for the retirees.