Budget roundtable

Ensuring help and fairness for older workers

More can be done by employers to ensure older workers are retained and get fairly paid, experts said at the roundtable following Monday's Budget.

While the Budget rolled out initiatives to help the older generations, experts weighed in with their wishlist for mature workers.

Singapore University of Social Sciences economist Walter Theseira said there should be more flexibility in tailoring working conditions for those who are older.

He said: "I think the reality is, the type of work that people can do may change as they age. Perhaps the desire for how intensively they want to work may also change. They may not want to work at the same pace as before.

"And in order to be fair to workers of all age groups, it has to be the case that if somebody either can't work at full capacity or doesn't want to, then of course their wages and so on have to adjust to some extent. So the flexibility, I think, has to be there."

However, he cautioned that older workers also should not be doing the same jobs for less pay just because they have passed the retirement age.

UOB economist Barnabas Gan suggested there could be a portal matching mature workers with part-time or contract jobs that allow them to work at their own pace. They could also be mentors for younger workers.

 

He said: "There could actually be a possibility for the older workers to mentor, consult and give the value-add to the Singapore economy as a whole. But if they are not willing to do this on a full-time basis, could there be a more transparent (way) for them to see the type of jobs out there for part-time type (of work)?"

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 24, 2019, with the headline 'Ensuring help and fairness for older workers'. Print Edition | Subscribe