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Heng Chee How: Nine in 10 unionised companies ready to retain older workers

NTUC deputy secretary-general Heng Chee How highlighted three key improvements under the amended Retirement and Re-employment Act (RRA), which would help both the mature workers and their companies.

Writing in a blog titled, "Re-employing the Working Man" on Friday, Mr Heng said while the hardware is in place, "software" investment in mature workers must focus on continuous skills upgrading and adaptation within the same or different job types or even industries; improved technology and workplace health and safety for older workers.

Mr Heng, who is the Labour Movement's champion for mature workers, said the changes in RRA will provide statutory help to let mature employees work longer and enlarge potential pool of jobs for them.

On the part of the Labour Movement, nine in 10 unionised companies surveyed recently were clearly ready to re-employ to at least age 67, up from the 75 per cent last August.

Mr Heng said the remaining 10 per cent are basically those whose workforces are relatively young and would not require re-employment in the near future.

The RRA was enacted by Parliament in January 2011 and put into effect a year later, to further prolong the employment of mature workers reaching the statutory retirement age of 62 through fair yet more flexible re-employment till age 65.

It was further amended in January to raise the re-employment age ceiling to 67.