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Tripartite Guidelines on Re-Employment of Older Employees Released

The aim – to get businesses and employees re-employment ready by 2012

11 March 2010

  1. The finalised set of Tripartite Guidelines for Re-employment of Older Employees (see Annex A) was announced by the Minister for Manpower Mr Gan Kim Yong at the Committee of Supply Debate on 11 March 2010. The Guidelines aim to help businesses and employees be re-employment ready, before re-employment legislation comes into force in early 2012.
  2. Taking into account feedback received during public consultation from November to December 2009, two key refinements were made to the Guidelines:
    • Re-employment planning and consultation should commence at least 6 months before eligible employees reach age 62 (see paragraph 6 of Guidelines). Useful feedback received during public consultation had indicated that it would be more practical to begin discussions on re-employment arrangements with eligible employees 6 months before they reach age 62, instead of 1 year.
    • Reference points provided for Employment Assistance Payment (EAP) (see paragraph 25 of Guidelines). This also follows feedback from employers and unions/workers, who requested for more clarity on the EAP, which is to be offered to eligible employees as a last resort when employers are unable to re-employ them. Hence, the Guidelines now include a reference point for EAP payouts, from a minimum of $4,500 to a maximum of $10,000.
  3. As Singapore's population and workforce continue to age rapidly1, there is an urgent need to raise the effective retirement age of employees in Singapore. The tripartite partners strongly urge employers to study the Guidelines and move quickly to adopt re-employment policies and practices. The tripartite partners also encourage employees to be flexible and take advantage of re-employment to continue to contribute to their organisations and earn a regular income.
  4. Advising companies to adopt re-employment policies and practices early, Minister for Manpower Mr Gan Kim Yong said, "Re-employment allows older workers who are adaptable and skilled to continue to work and contribute to their organisation. It also gives employers flexibility when they retain their older workers beyond the minimum statutory age of 62 and continue to tap on their expertise and experience. I strongly encourage all employers and employees to adopt the recommendations in the guidelines so that they can be re-employment ready by 2012."
  5. Mr Heng Chee How, Deputy Secretary-General of NTUC, who is also a member of the Tripartite Committee on the Employability of Older Workers, commented, "We are now closer to achieving the goal of providing more opportunities for employees to work beyond age 62, which will allow them to earn a regular income and contribute to their companies. The Labour Movement will communicate these Guidelines to our network of more than 800 unionised companies already committed to re-employment. We will work closely with them to put in place the necessary pieces, such as appropriate policies and robust appraisal systems, to benefit as many older workers as possible."
  6. Chairman of the Tripartite Implementation Workgroup and Vice President of the Singapore National Employers Federation Mr Alexander Melchers noted the valuable feedback from the public, which resulted in important refinements to the Guidelines and said, "On behalf of the tripartite partners, we thank all stakeholders who have participated in the public consultation exercise. The feedback received has helped us further fine-tune the recommendations in the Tripartite Guidelines. Moving forward, the tripartite partners will step up our efforts to encourage more companies to adopt the Guidelines to re-employment employees beyond the age of 62. This will ensure that companies and employees can be better prepared before the introduction of the law."
  7. To find out more about re-employment and how to prepare for the upcoming legislation, visit the Re-Employment of Older Employees Portal.

1 By 2020, more than one in three Singapore residents will be 50 years or older [Source: Final Report of the Tripartite Committee on Employability of Older Workers, 2007]