Friday, September 11, 2009

Lim Boon Heng : Please hire more older workers...

43% of workers age 55-64 have no employment. The govt will enforce legislation that will require employers to provide job options to older workers once they reach 62. This re-employment law is set to take effect in 2012. Under the law 'companies will have to offer to keep workers past retirement if they are fit and capable - but not necessarily in the same job or on similar wages as before'.

Think about it...if a company does not want to keep an older worker, what is there in the legislation that stops him from letting the older worker go? Among developed countries, Singapore is the easiest place to retrench workers. Nevermind older workers, companies can easily retrench younger workers if it helps to cut cost and keep profits up. One reason companies keep workers they don't need is if the amount of training invested is high and they can't get workers trained in the area easily - they will try with short work weeks, no pay leave etc before they start retrenching. The main reason for hiring older workers is tightness of the labor market - since the floodgates to foreign workers have been open, the labor market has never gotten tight enough to result in a favorable environment for older workers. The 2 old aunties at a coffeeshop near my place have been replace by 2 young guys from China. I've no idea where the aunties went but I don't think they make enough to retire on coffeeshop helper salaries.

If Lim Boon Heng is serious about the hiring and retention of older workers, he should look at our foreign worker policy. This policy has distorted the demographics of the workforce by opening the floodgates to younger workers from overseas - employers don't have to hire older workers anymore because they have an infinite supply of young workers from overseas. In the past when the economy booms and the labor market becomes tight, it was a chance for older workers to get employment...that chance has been taken away. Businesses are not going to listen to Lim Boon Heng ....its all words and no action..this new piece of legislation has no teeth and it is going to waste more time giving false hope to the thousands of ageing workers.


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BT Article Published September 11, 2009
Start hiring older workers now: Boon Heng
By FELDA CHAY

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FeedbackMANY companies are still not moving to hire workers aged 55-64, even though re-employment legislation is set to take effect in 2012, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Boon Heng said yesterday.'My advice is: Don't wait, start working on it now,' he said. 'You have only just over two years to get ready.'Mr Lim was speaking at a luncheon where the Housing & Development Board, National Healthcare Group (NHG) and Royal Plaza on Scotts (RPS) were commended for winning AARP International Innovative Employer Awards - an initiative of US-based non-profit organisation AARP.According to the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore's employment rate for workers aged 55-64 is 57 per cent.'So we still have a long way to go to reach our target of 65 per cent by 2012,' Mr Lim said.When re-employment legislation kicks in in January 2012, companies will have to offer to keep workers past retirement if they are fit and capable - but not necessarily in the same job or on similar wages as before.'The labour market in Singapore is quite a small one,' Mr Lim told reporters at the event. 'Although we have not got out of a recession as yet, the labour market is tightening.
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'When we don't have enough workers, we should look at the pool of people who are not working.' Firms should learn how to implement age-friendly practices from the three companies that won AARP awards, he said.RPS, for instance, no longer requires job applicants to put their age on application forms. It also has flexi-work arrangements for older workers, who work 22 hours a week instead of 44.NHG creates and re-designs jobs for older workers, and like RPS, it has introduced flexi-work for them. Some 17 per cent of its staff are aged 50 or older, and its re-employment rate is 85 per cent. At HDB, employees aged 50 and above make up 35 per cent of the work force.AARP selected 10 international winners for their recruiting practices, employee benefits, scheduling and retirement flexibility, and training opportunities, among other factors.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good morning Lucky,

From your numerous recent posts, you seemed to have "ignored" your satirical humor.

I always enjoy your posts for many years, checking for update few times a day.

Your content is still great. The only difference is that I seldom burst out laughing or smile wryly from your recent posts

sgcynic said...

Even the younger workers can be replaced by "foreign talents". It is definitely more viable to employ two or more foreign engineers, etc for the price of one Singaporean one.

Anonymous said...

LBH wants to have the best of both worlds. More foreign workers as well as more older locals to be employed.

Win Win Win for all. Haha!

Fedup said...

aiyo, the proposed legislation to employ older workers no use one lah. sure all talk, no teeth.

can a company "restructure" and ask an old employee to switch to some light duties instead of the former job?

better still, fire employees before they reach the "protected age"! like what companies do to pregnant ladies, before the 6th month. hahahahah...

like what Lucky says, the core of the problem lies in the liberal foreign worker policy.

this is the cardinal sin that has caused a lot of problems e.g. inflating property prices, intense competition in job markets across all levels, traffic/commuting woes etc etc.

Vote PAP for GDP growth at all costs!

LuckySingaporean said...

anon 08:11,

I guess the problems are now no laughing matter. It is a lot harder to be funny when problems get so serious and leaders do nothing about it.

Anonymous said...

"43% of workers age 55-64 have no employment."

Have u ever wondered what percentage is under-employed considering their lack of higher education?

Oh well, they could always sell their 3 room flats but if Lucky fights for "cheaper" hdb flats (for the kids) ... these old folks will suffer u know.

Decisions. decisions.

ANGRY said...

"Oh well, they could always sell their 3 room flats "

anon 11.12, you forgot to add "and join the ranks of those sleeping in void decks"...

I think the correct way should have been if their HDB flats don't cost a bomb to begin with, they would have enough money leftover to fund living costs.

King Greg said...

"Oh well, they could always sell their 3 room flats but if Lucky fights for "cheaper" hdb flats (for the kids) ... these old folks will suffer u know.

Decisions. decisions."

Or maybe if HDB flats are cheaper for the kids, then they not living hand to mouth and their parents no need to employed or even sell their flats.

Seriously man, you have a one-track mind. Why don't you just give yourself some standard pseudonym (for example: Anti-Lucky or Kay-tze char auntie or Kay-sway tor kar uncle) so that we don't have keep calling you anon this and anon that and macam mistakenly belief there is a whole swarm of you.

Onlooker said...

The problem with the FW policy is that even when there is no demand.
They will still get them here just to get a one off benefits that only benefited a few selected "Meritocrats" ,aka Elite.

After they secure the vote during election year,They discard people just like they discard their old prada,LV bags.

Anonymous said...

My my, this legislation is filled with holes... different job, lower pay... it's open to abuse.. imagine the employer just needs to make you do a higly taxing job for a pittance and the employee probably won't take it. Problem solved.
Those who believe this will work should check the medicines they are takiing.

Anonymous said...

anon 08.48

Lim Boon Heng has the best of both worlds...have you seen his $20,000,000 bunglow at Swettenham Road.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan,
"I guess the problems are now no laughing matter."

Indeed, perhaps now it's time to change your portrait from laughing face to melancholic look to reflect the seriousness of problem we facing now. LOL

Anonymous said...

The People's Action Party is now the People's Inaction Party. All talk no action, pay lip service, collect million dollar salaries.

Anonymous said...

Dear King Greg

In case u have not noticed, our dear gahmen is running short of cash.

Now consider the following:
-Helping the poor needs cash.
From somewhere. usually Tax. as they have been hinting.
-Historically, the ruling elite does not tax themselves. they tax people like u and me.
-And they are usually more efficient at collecting taxes than at handing out goodies.
-And how much more can they tax u and me. not much.
-Hence u have ministers telling us that the poor woman in the street can sell her fully paid 3 bedroom flat if she needs.
-Of course then she would not have a place to stay but we(as a people) voted for a bunch of millionaire minister u know.

If flaming me makes u feel better then be my guest. :-)

Anti-Lucky

Anonymous said...

cheer up lucky ;-)

http://www.mrbrownshow.com/2009/09/10/the-mrbrown-show-men-in-white/

Anti-Lucky

xl said...

Hi Lucky,
Read your reply to anon 08:11, I stumble upon your blog last month. Like the stuff you wrote & have proceeded to read all your past posts. No doubt many are sacarstic which also makes it funny.

Glad to know someone shares the same view that your style has changed recently.

Many people nowadays are treated like cogs which are easily replaceable in the economic machine. Was playing a game of racket game last night with a malaysian turned pr living here 8-9 years. He commented he's getting tired of the slogging lifestyle in here. Previously he came here with hope. Now getting more & more disillusioned. His wife still retain Msian citizenship in case unbearable in future & want to go back.

Anonymous said...

Anon 14:06,
>The People's Action Party is now the People's Inaction Party.

...otherwise known as the Money Action Party: M.A.P

Anonymous said...

Talk so much for what? Just emigrate and take out all your cpf money while you still can.

Sinkapore has become UNRECOGNISABLE
oledi.

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking the same thing too. Failing semiconductor, failing IR, HDB prices out of reach, no work and retrenchment (how to work to 67?), FT morphing all around us, billions of reserve losses, continuing "wayang show/no strategic purpose in telling you anything", Singapore is almost recognisable from what we thought PAP would lead us to. And all these are all self-created problems by PAP. I say we vote them out and clean up the mess.

Tired singaporean

tiredman said...

Lucky,
I wonder. Is this policy then there to encourage employers to employ the elderly?

If so, encouragement does not mean enforcement. So, the policy is useless...

Perhaps he should learn our Lim SS to do some hip hop dance to encourage the employers, should not he?

What a sad state of affair....

Anonymous said...

Sir,

The purpose of Lim Boon Heng statement is to show that the garments are concern and are STILL working for a solution. They blame everybody but themselves.

Meanwhile, companies, like SAT and SingPost, continue to have policy of not hiring anyone above 40 except for the job as cleaners or Security Guard. And the so-called "Tri-patriach for Equal Employment??", something like that, are smoke screen. The floodgate for FT remains open while, many jobless singaporean, like myself, are starving.

Anonymous said...

LBH should lead by example and not rhetorics. The problem is there but without any incentives no employer in his right mind will want to employ older workers when they can employ younger foreign workers at a lower cost. Only the government will do that for a selected few and pay them handsomely.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the jobs at IR : I was told that they advertised the salaries for the groupiers/dealers as starting from S$2,500/mth but during the interview, they are told that the salary is S$1,800/mth and they cannot resign within the 1st year. Otherwise the penalty is payback S$8,000.

Which other job pays a salary of only S$1,800 per month and yet carries a penalty of S$8,000 if you resign within the 1st year.

Which local Singaporean will be that stupid to sign on the contract unless he is desperate or without any working experience will do that ?

Then IR will cry to the Govt that there are no locals willing to take on the jobs and then it will have to go to the Malaysian or Filipino workers willing to accept such conditions.

One wonders how the IR is helping the locals secure a REASONABLE salary package from such exploiters ?

Our IRs will provide jobs to locals. My foot!

Anonymous said...

Just take a look at our MOE. Many teachers are really very young compared to not too long ago. i am really very surprise to see many head of department are in their late twenty. Very few were in the fourty. Don't know why?

Anonymous said...

"anon 08.48

Lim Boon Heng has the best of both worlds...have you seen his $20,000,000 bunglow at Swettenham Road."

Correction,that bunglow belongs to Minister Wong KS,not Lim Ah Heng.

The property was developed by Lim Chee Oon and sold to Wong KS for $10 million.

Lim Ah Heng's new bunglow is probably at Pierce Road,a new design build bunglow completed last year,yes,probably costing $ 20 million,but he does ot stay there,the guard house is not used.

That makes Lim Ah Heng probably the richest ex-Union Chief in the world,a new recod.
PAP-beri proud.
NTUC-c powder of our Sinkie workers.

Stupid people.

Anonymous said...

This is only lip service. He can talk and talk, but is not in touch. Look at the old workers in hawker centres and food courts, they are being replaced by foreigners at a cheaper rate. So what is he talking about? Even the fast food joints like Macdonalds,Subway, Seven 11 are using illegals such as foreign students who cannot work in accordance to the immigration laws!

Anonymous said...

Lucky,

the Swiss which is known for their 'welfare' system, good worker compensation is ranked world most competitive. Isn't this running against the 'doctrine' our government who only know enhance the competitiveness by flooding spore with cheap foreign worker?

Anonymous said...

since employers have to bear medical claims of employees, they see no advantage of hiring older workers despite lower asking wages. the way medical welfare are provided have to be changed. we should follow what the first world countries are doing.

Anonymous said...

anon 12.24

Correction,that bunglow belongs to Minister Wong KS,not Lim Ah Heng.

The property was developed by Lim Chee Oon and sold to Wong KS for $10 million.

Lim Ah Heng's new bunglow is probably at Pierce Road,a new design build bunglow completed last year,yes,probably costing $ 20 million,but he does ot stay there,the guard house is not used.

That makes Lim Ah Heng probably the richest ex-Union Chief in the world,a new recod.
PAP-beri proud.
NTUC-c powder of our Sinkie workers.

Stupid people.


President Barrack Obama is paid less than half a million singapore dollars a year and his total nett worth is a fraction of the value ah heng bunglow..

something is really amiss here...u are right..stupid people.

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