Encouraging older workers back to work

On 5 February 2013, I wrote a blog post entitled “Have a heart for older workers”. In it I suggested that the Government incentivises Singapore employers who engage older workers by way of outright cash for each older Singaporean employee engaged and kept in the payroll.

20 days later on 25 February 2013, Minister for Finance delivered his 2013 budget speech and made a statement, “ … we must also harness the value of older Singaporeans and design jobs suited for them, as well as for other potential employees who are unable to work regular, full-time schedules.”

Ministry of Manpower and Singapore Workforce Development Agency together with Singapore National Employers’ Federation and National Trades Union Congress came up with “WorkPro and Enterprise Training Support” to fulfill the above objective.

WorkPro Scheme

WorkPro Scheme is open to all Singapore registered companies and employees must be Singapore citizens or permanent residents. There are two portions to the scheme, WorkPro for Employers and WorkPro for Employees.

WorkPro for Employers consists of several grants and monetary incentives from government, namely Age Management Grant, Job Redesign Grant, Work-life Grant, New Hire and Retention Incentives, on the Job Training Allowances.

WorkPro for Employees include Job Preparation Support and Retention Bonus.

In addition to the latest scheme, there was an old scheme called the Special Employment Credit. It was in place since 2011 (enhanced in 2012) and will last till 31 Dec 2016.

Special Employment Credit

The government introduced the Special Employment Credit (SEC) in 2011 and enhanced it in 2012. The enhanced SEC will be given to employers of Singaporeans aged above 50 and earning up to $4,000 per month. The enhanced SEC payout will be up to 8% of the monthly wage of an eligible Singaporean employee. The maximum SEC an employer can receive per month for an eligible Singaporean employee is $240.

Concluding remarks

Let’s hope that with WorkPro Scheme, more companies would take advantage of the various grants and incentives to engage mature workers and make their work place conducive for them. There must the willingness to tap on this age-group of workers, without this willingness the grants will be of no use.

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