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HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Singapore turns to grants to retain older workers

It also offers wage offsets to employers with older workers.

Reuters reported that Singapore’s ‘job-redesign’ grant which is geared to uplift companies with older staff have benefitted more than 650 firms that have used up to $300,000 grant since 2016. The government is also offering wage offsets to employers of older workers and a grant to adopt progressive age management practices.

“Governments need to look after the needs of their ageing population, and enable older workers to work longer and stay productive,” finance minister Heng Swee Keat said.

In most countries, it is left to the private sector to try to keep the experienced workers they need, although Asia’s two other rapidly ageing nations - Japan and South Korea - do provide grants and subsidies to firms for their older workers.

Data revealed that the employment rate of Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 65 and above hit 27% in 2018, a rise from the 16% recorded a decade ago.

Also read: Prudential scraps retirement age for employees

Firms have also stepped up to address the issue, including Prudential which ditched its retirement age for Singapore employees and included managers’ training that deals with having conversations with employees regardless of age.

“There will be situations like: how do I deal with someone who is not performing and who is like my parent?” Sheela Parakkal, chief human resource officer at Prudential Singapore, noted.

Data from the United Nations show that Singapore is the second-fastest ageing country in the world next to South Korea. With birth rates declining and the restriction of foreign labour, the citystate is becoming more dependent on its older residents.

Here’s more from Reuters.

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