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Let us take better care of senior workers as a society

We refer to Mr Goh Khang Khai’s letter, “Do more to support them now” (Oct 6).

As a society, we need to take better care of our senior workers. Our employment laws already establish basic rules on working hours and rest breaks to protect staff well-being. For example, employees covered under Part 4 of the Employment Act should have at least one rest break for every six consecutive hours of work. Employers should consider how work and rest schedules can be adjusted to create a conducive work environment for their staff. Besides rest breaks, employers should also consider redesigning the workplace environment to better support senior workers. For example, the adoption of automation such as self-checkout machines in retail stores or automated guided vehicles in warehouses can make existing jobs less physically demanding for senior workers.

Many seniors work in outsourced jobs. As part of the Ministry of Manpower’s Workcare initiative, service buyers and service providers who engage outsourced workers are encouraged to provide proper rest areas for them. The Government is providing funding support through the Workcare grant for the setting up or improvement of such rest areas, such as having water coolers and lockers to store belongings. Eligible building owners can apply for the grant through NTUC U-Care Centre’s website (

We also encourage employers to adopt the Tripartite Standards on Advancing Well-Being of Lower-Wage Workers ( and Age-Friendly Workplace Practices ( to distinguish themselves as employers of choice. All of us have a part to play in creating a more age-inclusive workplace, and in giving our senior workers the respect and dignity they deserve.

Lee Chung Wei

Divisional Director

Workplace Policy and Strategy Division

Ministry of Manpower