Jan 10, 2006
Tax rebates urged for firms hiring older Singaporeans
Recommendation from Feedback Unit panel comes after two dialogues with 145 S'porean workers
By Ken Kwek
EMPLOYERS who adopt a 'Singaporeans first' policy, especially in hiring older workers, should receive tax rebates from the Government, a committee of the Feedback Unit suggested yesterday.
An incentive for firms which reject the view that older workers are slower or less competent could be based on the number of such workers taken on, and the length of time they spend with the company, Mr Prabu Naidu, chairman of the Feedback Group for Human Resource Development, told reporters.
His group's recommendations were based on two dialogues held last year with 145 Singaporean workers, 70 per cent of whom were aged 40 and above.
The suggestion, which will be discussed further at the Feedback Unit's annual conference on Jan 21, is in line with the current drive by the Government and National Trades Union Congress to help older Singaporeans stay employed.
It also echoes a call made in Parliament in January last year by Hong Kah GRC MP Ang Mong Seng, who said tax incentives should be introduced to get employers to hire older workers.
A ministerial committee looking into ways to help older workers is expected to issue its recommendations this month.
Mr Naidu said his group's suggestions are meant to refine or add to programmes already in place to help older workers, who are particularly vulnerable to discriminatory practices.
He added that the feedback his group received showed there are also employees who want their bosses to allow them to take on second jobs if this does not conflict with or affect their performance with their main employer.
(1) Older workers don't go off for three weeks a year to do military training in Australia or Taiwan.
(2) Older workers won't suddenly get pregnant and give birth and take two or three months of maternity leave.
(3) I really think that older workers are much less likely to change jobs as frequently as younger workers.
employed by the Singapore government.