Mon. Feb 26th, 2024
Heng Chee How workers

TL;DR – Everyone will age, including you and me.

Earlier this week, a letter titled “Seniors should not stand in the way of younger staff” was published on the Straits Times Forum.

This letter was written in response to the announcement that the retirement and re-employment ages for Singapore workers will be progressively raised to 65 and 70 years old respectively under the law, to allow older Singaporeans who wish to continue working to do so.

In the forum letter, the writer Mr Francis Cheng opined that older workers, who can afford to retire early, should not “cling” on to their jobs and stand in the way of younger workers.

ST forum writer says older workers should not “cling” to their jobs and stand in the way of younger workers


The letter has triggered quite some reactions amongst netizens, including a response from NTUC Deputy Secretary-General Heng Chee How who has been championing for the mature workers.


In reply to Mr Francis Cheng’s forum letter and another letter written by Mr Paul Heng titled “Rights and fairness play a role in retirement and re-employment”, the labour MP wrote that he believes that Singapore and Singaporeans will do better when we address age-fair employment through the lens of “enablement” more than that of “entitlement”.

He added that to ensure that workers of all ages can continue to deliver value on the job amid endless changes to business models, job designs, work processes and technology, employers, unions and workers must play an active role in timely, purposeful skills-building. And with a better and correctly skilled workforce, companies will then have a greater ability to outdo their competitors and grow, which will translate into more jobs and promotional opportunities for all who work with them.

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This is the critical “enablement” for companies and workers of all ages to move away from a zero-sum mindset and take actions that lead to sustainable win-win outcomes, added Heng.

Citing the Company Training Committee, an initiative launched in April 2019 by the NTUC as an enabler, Heng shared that the NTUC’s network of company training committees is a mechanism that will power this “enablement” as it will give more mature workers the chance and choice to continue contributing at work and grow with their younger counterparts as they do so.

You may read his response letter in full here.