10 January 2006

Older Singaporeans At Work

    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.
Mr Wang supports these moves and invites employers to consider three advantages of hiring older Singaporeans as opposed to younger Singaporeans:

(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.

One of the oldest workers
employed by the Singapore government.

8 comments:

singaporean said...

To achieve the benefits of hiring older workers, employers can also


(1) Older workers don't go off for three weeks a year to do military training in Australia or Taiwan.

Hire women or foreigners.


(2) Older workers won't suddenly get pregnant and give birth and take two or three months of maternity leave.

Hire foreigners.


(3) I really think that older workers are much less likely to change jobs as frequently as younger workers.

Hire foreigners (and women too actually).

Not to mention foreigners comes with additional "tax" benefits like lower employer cpf contribution, eager willingness to work long hours and most importantly for the young and insecure management: the inability to talk back because they were doing this and that before the boss was born.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Aha! If you hire too many foreigners, then the Singapore government would somehow be forced to look after unemployed Singaporeans. That wouldn't do either, would it?

PC said...

Hmm... that sounds like a variant of the baby bonus, don't you think?

How well is that working for Singapore, you think?

My take on this is that companies don't say "oh.. there's a tax break, I'd better go hire older workers".. It's more like "oh.. happened to hire older worker.. got tax break better claim.."

I reckon that management has got to be enlightened.. just like fast food companies like McDees...

yh said...

'government would somehow be forced to look after unemployed Singaporeans.'

you kidding?

jack milo said...

hire older workers? but can they cope/handle it? maybe older workers as taxi drivers and macdonalds. haha. anyway, old age is time for retirement right? work for so many years then old already still must work.

as for the foreigners, maybe the government can tax them to support unemployed singaporeans? i dunno.

singaporean said...

The residential population of Singapore is about 4 million, of which 1 million are foreigners. If that is not a lot, I dont know what is.

An unemployed can always choose to be underemployed as a cleaner or cab driver, or be labelled as "choosy". Either way, it is case closed for the government.

Mr Wang Says So said...

yh - if too many people get unemployed, then of course the government has to (and will do) something. You think they want their reputation for clean streets to be sullied? Beggars don't make our streets look clean.

S'porean - minor correction, I think the S'porean population is 4 point something million; the no. of foreigners on the island is abt 1 million; total no. of people on the island is 5 million plus.

quetelet said...

A government subsidy for firms to hire older workers has the same effect as a tax on firms hiring younger ones, no? :)