Be fair to older non-PMEs

Office workers during lunch time outside Raffles Place MRT station on June 16, 2014.
Office workers during lunch time outside Raffles Place MRT station on June 16, 2014.PHOTO: ST FILE

Discrimination against older workers, especially non-PMEs (professionals, managers and executives), still persists, not only in job recruitment but also in current employment.

The salaries of these workers have stagnated for years, even though some of them have gone for skills-upgrading or have been given more job assignments.

If wages do not keep up, many will still be servicing loans even after they retire. Perhaps it may be necessary to amend the Retirement and Re-employment Act to raise the re-employment age to beyond 65 years old.

Given the encouragement by the Government to recognise non-degree holders, and last year's pay hike of 5 per cent for civil service employees ("Civil service raises pay to keep pace with market"; Aug 30, 2014), the promotions and salary increments for older non-PMEs should also be given due consideration if they excel in their jobs or are given additional duties.

Many such workers, upon reaching retirement age, have been downgraded and not given the same terms of employment as their younger colleagues, even though they are still healthy and continue to contribute productively at work.

Some even have to accept a pay cut, and the majority of them do not enjoy yearly pay increments.

The Government should be applauded for raising the CPF contribution rates for older workers, but more should be done to enforce fair practices at work.

Tan Keong Boon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2015, with the headline 'Be fair to older non-PMEs'. Print Edition | Subscribe