Rehiring older workers: Mindsets must change too

It is good to know that workers can be re-employed up to the age of 67 ("Re-employment age cap up from July 2017"; April 9).

Such a move has been long-awaited and undeniably necessary to cope with Singapore's rapidly greying population. This will help us to not only meet the challenges of a tight labour market but also reduce our reliance on foreign labour.

Although this is a commendable move for Singapore, changes in legislation have to be coupled with mindset changes in both employers and employees.

There is much resistance towards hiring older workers, as many companies think that older employees may not be able to cope with the ever-changing corporate landscape and may hinder work productivity.

Such negative attitudes need to be addressed. Our senior workers should not be sidelined because of such a biased predisposition.

Employers need to appreciate that older workers, with their experience, wisdom and loyalty, will be valuable assets to their companies. They should be ready to make practical arrangements so that our seniors can be readily welcomed in the workplace.

Corporations have to invest in the retraining and upgrading of older workers, so that the seniors will be better prepared for the rigours of the job and truly add value to the economy.

Meanwhile, on the employees' side, they should be prepared to stay in the workforce for a longer time, and consider work as an important way to contribute to society, stay active and gain new experiences.

Besides fostering new social attitudes, the Government should continue to maintain a flexible system to support corporations and workers for this transition.

Opinions from the people should be valued and the policies reviewed accordingly to better the system.

In the end, we have to keep in mind that every individual should be entitled to enjoy a productive and dignified life well into his senior years, and our society should be quick to include our seniors as we build a city for all ages.

Teo Ying Ying (Miss)