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PAP Seniors Group Commemorates International Day of Older Persons by Pushing for Change in Workplace Support for Seniors

23 Sep 2023 3 min read

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PAPSG Chairman Dr Tan See Leng with age-friendly employers Mdm Ang Suan, Director of Hong Seafood Pte Ltd, Mr Deepak Anandani, CEO of Radha Export Pte Ltd; and senior employee Mr Ang Koon Hong, Warehouse Operator at IGUS Singapore Pte Ltd, at the PAPSG International Day of Older Persons commemorative event

People’s Action Party’s Seniors Group (PAPSG) organised a commemorative event for International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) today to recognise the equity and aspirations of our seniors.    

Speaking at the event, PAPSG Chairman Dr Tan See Leng said, “Today, we celebrate all our seniors who have laid strong foundations for Singapore to flourish. Our seniors, like everyone, have meaningful aspirations – no one should feel inhibited by their age. PAPSG will continue to champion the needs of our seniors, to encourage all to uphold the 3Rs – to hold in Regard, to Respect, and to give Recognition to their contributions and potential. In 2024, PAPSG will release a roadmap themed to these 3Rs for an even more age-friendly society. Tapping on the wealth of wisdom our seniors have, there remain many exciting milestones we can achieve together.” 

Majority of older Singaporeans in favour of raising the re-employment and retirement age  

Senior employment and employability are important topics of interest in Singapore. To better understand and strengthen our senior workforce, the PAPSG and National Trades Union Congress U Women and Family (NTUC U WAF) commissioned a survey to garner views about retirement, re-employment and flexible work arrangements. The survey found that about 9 in 10 (87.9%) Singaporeans and Permanent Residents aged 50 and above supported a retirement age of 63 years and higher; and 8 in 10 (80.4%) supported a re-employment age of 68 years and higher. However, in spite of this desire for employment, respondents raised negative employer attitudes and age discrimination, and inflexible working arrangements or long working hours as key challenges they face to work past retirement age. 

PAPSG IDOP 2023 Organising Chair Mr Yip Hon Weng said, “All that we push for today will benefit us down the line, when we find ourselves as seniors. From PAPSG’s outreach to seniors, workplace support came up strongly as a key concern as many seniors still have career milestones they want to achieve, for those who want to continue working. We must ensure our seniors’ fair access to the workplace and help them towards achieving their goals. We have always championed senior-related causes and the Government has responded with key policy shifts. We will share these survey insights with the Government, and these insights will also help set a clear direction in making Singapore the best place to age in.” 

12 corporates pledge to reaffirm commitment to age-friendly workplace practices; close to 4,000 employees to benefit 

As a response, 12 corporates who are also Labour Movement partners collectively reiterated their commitment to uphold age-friendly workplace practices. They pledged to raise their companies’ retirement and re-employment age, to adopt flexible work arrangements, and to bolster safeguards against workplace discrimination. These measures will impact some 4,000 employees. 

NTUC U WAF Director and PAPSG EXCO Ms Yeo Wan Ling pointed out, “To see our Labour Movement partners leading the way to decisively implement age-friendly measures is very encouraging and is a big step towards evolving workplace culture. I hope this is an impetus for all of us to change our perception of older workers. I also encourage employers to continue providing flexible work arrangements, as it is a key factor in encouraging our senior workers and even caregivers to remain in the workforce. Under the Forward Singapore exercise, PAPSG and NTUC will continue to rally all partners to ensure fair opportunities at the workplace.”  

The work and outreach to seniors over the years allow PAPSG to confidently address the concerns relating to senior employment and workplace discrimination for IDOP 2023. PAPSG’s engagement with our seniors will continue in the coming months. The findings, recommendations and perspectives from our seniors will then form the basis for ‘Regard, Respect, Recognition’ – a roadmap of initiatives in 2024 relating to senior employability, retirement adequacy, senior housing, and healthcare and social support for an age-friendly Singapore.