Recognise contributions of rehired older workers

File photo of an elderly rag and bone woman picking up a cardboard box outside Geylang Bahru food centre.

THE Ministry of Manpower (MOM) agrees with Mr Matthew Ong Koon Lock ("Rehired older workers deserve bonuses, too"; last Saturday) that as Singapore's workforce ages, enlightened employers would do well to tap the skills and experiences of older employees.

Recognising re-employed older workers for their contributions and rewarding them are ways to incentivise and motivate them to continue to perform well. This is also a position strongly endorsed by the tripartite partners.

The MOM introduced the Retirement and Re-employment Act in January 2012 to require employers to re-employ eligible workers who reach the minimum statutory retirement age of 62 (or contractual retirement age, whichever is higher), up to 65 years old.

To provide guidance to employers, the tripartite partners also issued the Tripartite Guidelines on the Re-employment of Older Employees.

The guidelines recommend that employers continue to reward re-employed employees based on company and individual performance, where appropriate.

This could be in the form of performance bonuses, long service benefits, gain-sharing incentives or one-off bonuses.

In the civil service, re-employed officers are eligible for performance bonuses and annual salary increments, like all other employees. They are largely re-employed to the same job and most of them receive the same pay.

However, as Mr Ong acknowledges, not every employer is able to do this due to different business circumstances.

Hence, the Tripartite Guidelines also give employers some flexibility in remuneration, recognising that rigid rules could affect the employability of older workers.

Alvin Lim Divisional Director Workplace Policy and Strategy Division Ministry of Manpower

This article was first published on August 27, 2014.
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