Redeployed older workers should reinvent themselves

Productivity is important for companies, along with managing fixed overheads, of which wages constitute a big portion.

If a firm cannot find suitable positions to slot its re-employed workers, it would make sense to transfer them out to other subsidiaries ("Older workers can work until age 67 from July"; Jan 10).

The one-off Employment Assistance Payment, or golden handshake, for workers aged 62 is set at 3.5 times the monthly gross salary, and between $5,500 and $13,000.

If an older worker's last drawn salary is $10,000 per month, that payment would amount to $35,000. The Manpower Ministry must impose a cap of, say, up to $20,000, depending on the profitability of the firm.

A transferred older worker's salary cannot be the same for all workers. It should be based on the workload and worker productivity.

Those who are fit enough and perform satisfactorily for redeployment cannot expect the same pay. Redeployed older workers must be realistic and acknowledge that they are no longer as productive.

More importantly, can older workers adjust to their new roles, which could require them to report to younger supervisors?

Such a relationship can be demoralising and uncomfortable. In such a situation, older workers should be encouraged to look on the bright side. For example, they get an opportunity to learn new skills from tech-savvy younger managers.

Redeployed older workers should maintain an effective and productive working relationship with their younger colleagues.

The MOM could allow companies to hire older workers on non-permanent contracts.

It makes sense for firms to rehire retirees with reduced job scopes and responsibilities that would be commensurate with lower salaries.

If 10 per cent of retirees were to take up jobs without being too choosy, we could decrease reliance on imported workers.

Francis Cheng