Re-employment allows older workers to continue contributing to Singapore’s workforce.
The Retirement and Re-employment Act states that the minimum retirement age is 62 years, and you cannot ask your employees to retire before that age. Your employees have this protection if they:
- Are a Singaporean citizen or Singaporean permanent resident
- Joined you before they turned 55
Employees who turn 62 can continue to be employed in the organisation if they meet the eligibility criteria of re-employment.Good re-employment practices include
- Workforce Planning
Analyse your current and future workforce demographics – what impact will a higher proportion of older workers have on the organisation? Is there a need to review and refine polices in light of this change, to enable older workers to continue contributing effectively to the organisation? Keep in mind that the needs of older workers who are beyond retirement age may be different.
Rethink your current work processes, and consider job redesign or increased automation that can help build an age-friendly workplace. Think about the roles they can fill, and the contributions they can make based on their experience and expertise. For example, you can create a mentorship role to allow the transfer of knowledge and skills.
- Preparing employees for re-employment
Employers are encouraged to take a long-term view in planning for their employees’ second careers and preparing them for re-employment.
- Identifying eligible employees for re-employment: As a good practice, offer re-employment contracts to all employees who are medically fit to continue working and whose performance are assessed to be satisfactory or above.
- Re-employment planning and consultation: Engage your employees on re-employment issues as early as possible, not less than 6 months prior to re-employment or extension of re-employment.
- Job arrangements for re-employment: There should be flexibility in the job arrangements for re-employed employees, e.g. re-employing employees in the same job, with modifications to their existing jobs or on other work arrangements.
- The re-employment contract
The re-employment contract should allow employers flexibility in re-employing older employees. It is likely that employees would be concerned about whether their benefits and salary will be impacted; the duration of their contract; and implications if the contract is not renewed.
- Offer of re-employment: Offer re-employment contracts to your eligible employees at least 3 months before retirement to allow sufficient time for the employees to consider the offer.
- Duration of re-employment: To provide greater certainty for employees, employers should offer them 5-year re-employment contracts, up to the age of 67.
- Wages and medical and other benefits: Do be flexible in negotiating re-employment terms and benefits.
- Termination with notice: You may exercise normal termination with notice in accordance with their employment contracts.
- Recognising the contributions of re-employed employees
Recognise that re-employed employees are an integral part of the organisation, and continue to reward them fairly, based on company and individual performance.
- Assistance for eligible employees whom employers cannot re-employ
If you are unable to find suitable jobs for eligible employees, make it a point to inform them as early as practicable. Should you need to redeploy the employee into a new role, put in place training and development programmes so as to prepare and help the employee transition into the new assignment smoothly.
In the event that there are no available jobs and upskilling is not an option, you should either transfer the re-employment obligations to another employer with agreement from the employee; or offer a one-off Employment Assistance Payment.
Re-employing an older worker who is experienced and already familiar with your work culture and processes saves a lot of time and effort you would have otherwise spent trying to find a new recruit.
Re-employed workers assigned to a different job function or position may find it less challenging as they are familiar with the organisation and business. This shorter learning curve implies less time and effort in preparing them for this new role, creating a high level of organisational productivity and work quality.
Re-employing older workers is an excellent way to instil organisational loyalty. Older workers double up as your company’s culture ambassadors and can mentor your younger employees. Based on their experience, older workers can inspire your younger employees to plan on having a successful career beyond the retirement age.
Offering re-employment opportunities to older workers reflects positively on you and your organisation as an “employer of choice”. By extending opportunities towards your skilled and capable older workers to be employable , you present your organisation in a positive light as an inclusive workplace.
Programmes & Resources
Tripartite Guidelines on the Re-employment of Older Employees
To accompany the re-employment legislation, a revised set of Tripartite Guidelines on Re-employment of Older Employees was released by the tripartite partners.Read More
In the event retrenchment is inevitable, do refer to the Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible Retrenchment.Read More
NTUC Understanding Re-employment guide
This guide helps unions, companies and workers better understand the new re-employment guidelines. Particularly useful are the summaries on the Retirement and Re-employment Act, and the frequently asked questions which address common queries and misconceptions that you may have on re-employment.Read More
Special Employment Credit (SEC) scheme
The SEC provides employers with continued support to hire older Singaporean workers by offsetting their wages. Employers who hire a Singaporean worker above the age of 50 and earning up to $4,000 a month can receive a Special Employment Credit of up to 8 per cent of the employee’s monthly wages.Read More
Employers can get funding support to put in place progressive employment practices. These include redesigning jobs, having management practices and flexible work arrangements.Read More
Two in five (40 per cent) of the organisation’s workforce are older workers, who tend to have amassed more years of experience. To recognise their valuable skills and knowledge, FedEx introduced the Post-Retirement Employment Opportunity Programme in 2010. Under this programme, eligible employees who reach the retirement age are offered re-employment on unchanged terms.Information is accurate as of December 2017