Set minimum standard for re-employment packages

I thank the Ministry of Manpower for taking steps to create a Singaporean core by mandating the rehiring of older workers ("Re-employment age cap up from July 2017"; last Saturday).

However, I hope that the ministry will provide guidelines for employers so that they abide by a minimum standard when offering older workers re-employment.

It is not unheard of for an employer to make it difficult for an older employee to be rehired.

They may offer long work hours and no annual leave or days off, leaving the employee with no choice but to leave.

In the view of the employer, an offer was made but not accepted.

Older employees who take on senior roles with a managerial title, or who handle confidential information, are excluded from the Employment Act and, thus, do not have their rights protected.

While an employment offer is between the employer and employee, the package must be reasonable.

Times and situations have changed, as we face a new economy. We should seek to improve with the changing work landscape.

It cannot be that workers are ousted from employment in their silver years, when they have many productive years ahead.

Many seniors have a lot to give in terms of work experience and a mature mindset. They do not job-hop and do not require employment passes.

Let us offer these older personnel basic employment rights and encode these in the Employment Act.

This will enable us to help our own citizens and erase the mindset that older workers have outlived their usefulness.

Juliana Ang Hiok Lian (Ms)