NTUC yesterday announced a new four-tier framework to track the commitment level of unionised companies to re-employment initiatives for older people. The framework identifies four degrees of commitment on the part of companies to re-employment. Level one, the lowest level, involves re-employing older workers on an ad-hoc basis while the maximum level of four is indicative of a company's proactive stance and implemented HR policy in sustainable and scalable initiatives.
The new initiative comes in the light of data referred to by NTUC secretary-general Lim Swee Say, showing one out of four Singaporean men, and two out of three Singaporean women aged 55-64 are out of work.
'There needs to be a change of mind set so that win-win employment can exist,' he said. 'Re-employment should be about making productive and meaningful use of the mature workers as an asset to the organisations.'
Speaking at a tour of SBS Transit's east district centre for some 40 union leaders, he pointed out good re-employment initiatives by SBS and other companies. In SBS's case, this includes job re-design and training and workplace health promotion. For example, the transport service company raised the retirement age of its bus captains from 62 to 65 with effect from yesterday. Two-thirds of its 5,200 bus captains are aged 40 and above.
Said SBS Transit's chief operating officer Gan Juay Kiat: 'We value the contributions of our older bus captains so we have decided to offer them this option to remain productive at work. The experience they have garnered over the years also means that they are able to pass valuable pointers to new captains.'
Since Feb 2006, 433 companies have affirmed their support to help older workers stay employed beyond the age of 62, benefiting a total of 3,910 workers.
The labour movement aims to reach out to enlist all 1,000 unionised companies before re-employment legislation kicks in come 2012. Two teams have been set up: The Raising Effective Retirement Age Team engages the unionised companies throug h the NTUC-affiliated unions to promote re-employment initiatives in areas such as job re-design and training. The Re-employment Expert Group consolidates relevant knowledge and provides expertise, thus far having gathered a databank of 181 case studies.