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Employment rate of old Singaporeans hit new high of 64%

This is due to tight labour market.

In a written response by Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin, he revealed that the employment situation for older workers has improved significantly over the last 10 years. The employment rate of older residents aged 55 to 64 rose from 45.2% in 2003 to a new high of 64.0% in 2012 – comparable to other advanced economies.

This was in answer to Mr Chen Show Mao's question regarding some older workers in Singapore facing discrimination from employers due to their age.

The employment rate is mainly attributed to the tight labour market and measures to improve the employability of older residents, such as the successful implementation of the re-employment legislation. There is also a growing recognition that older Singaporeans can continue to make valuable contributions at the workplace.

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Here's more from Mr Tan Chuan-Jin:

To address discrimination faced by older Singaporean workers, MOM has been working closely with employers and the unions in bringing about the adoption of fair, responsible and merit-based employment through the work of the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices or TAFEP.

Recognising that the key to dealing with workplace discrimination lies in changing the mindsets of employers, TAFEP takes a moral suasion approach to encourage fair employment practices. TAFEP also conducts research with employers, employees, job seekers and co-workers to understand and find better ways to overcome the employment hurdles faced by older Singaporeans.

From time to time, age-related discrimination complaints, mostly from older jobseekers, have been surfaced to TAFEP for assistance. In the past three years, TAFEP received 151 age-related discrimination complaints.

Thus far, employers approached by TAFEP have heeded TAFEP’s advice and made adjustments to their employment practices, for example by removing age criteria from job advertisements.

Addressing age discrimination is more of an ongoing journey than a destination, and requires the concerted efforts of all members of Singapore society. I welcome ideas and suggestions from the honourable member or others on how we can work together to better address this issue.



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