New standard for age-friendly work practices launched

Companies that adopt the Tripartite Standard on Age-Friendly Workplace Practices would, for example, appoint a member of senior management to champion age-friendly workplace practices and design jobs and the workplace to be age-friendly.
Companies that adopt the Tripartite Standard on Age-Friendly Workplace Practices would, for example, appoint a member of senior management to champion age-friendly workplace practices and design jobs and the workplace to be age-friendly.PHOTO: ST FILE

Guidelines help firms ensure inclusive workplace for staff of all ages

Companies now have a new set of guidelines they can refer to and adopt to ensure their workplace provides a conducive and inclusive environment for workers of all ages.

Companies that adopt the Tripartite Standard on Age-Friendly Workplace Practices would, for example, avoid using age as a selection criterion when recruiting candidates, appoint a member of senior management to champion age-friendly workplace practices and design jobs as well as the workplace to be age-friendly.

Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo launched the standard yesterday at the Conference for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices held at Raffles City Convention Centre.

She said such practices embody a new spirit of fairness and progressivity that enables both companies and workers to keep up with rapid technological change.

"All employers should find this relevant. Faced with an ageing population, we need to find more ways to unlock the potential of seniors in our workforce," she added .

"Not every one of our seniors is ready to relax by the beach. They see their golden years as continuing to be part of a vibrant economy. We should enable them to do so."

STILL CONTRIBUTING TO ECONOMY

Not every one of our seniors is ready to relax by the beach. They see their golden years as continuing to be part of a vibrant economy. We should enable them to do so.

SECOND MINISTER FOR MANPOWER JOSEPHINE TEO

Among the companies that have adopted the new standard is Rohde & Schwarz Asia, which produces measuring equipment used in wireless communications.

Senior director of operations Andy Goh said the company typically continues employing staff who have hit retirement age, without reducing their salaries.

"But we also expand their work, so they mentor someone younger. It becomes more of a coaching role, so they're developing the next generation of people," he said.

"It works out very well because the more experienced staff also would like to do something beyond technical work, and so we augment that with mentorship."

The new tripartite standard was developed by the Manpower Ministry, National Trades Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation.

Mrs Teo also announced that 87 more companies have joined the Human Capital Partnership programme, another tripartite initiative that brings together employers who are committed to progressive employment practices.

These companies commit to nurturing a strong Singaporean core, and enhancing skills transfer from foreign to local employees to raise the capabilities of the local workforce.

With the new batch of partners, there are now 221 companies in the programme, which was launched in February last year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2018, with the headline 'New standard for age-friendly work practices launched'. Print Edition | Subscribe