Creating an Age-Friendly Workplace (Employers)

How to create an age-friendly workplace that hires, manages and engages its employees meaningfully.

What You Must Do to Be Fair and Compliant

According to the Retirement & Re-Employment Act , you cannot ask employees to retire before they are 63. This protection applies if your employees are Singapore citizens or Singapore permanent residents, and if they joined your organisation before they turned 55.

You must also offer re-employment to eligible employees between the ages of 63 and 68. If you are unable to offer re-employment, you must either transfer your re-employment obligation to another employer (with agreement from your employee), or offer a one-time payment and help your employee to find a new job.

The following Tripartite Guidelines on Re-Employment of Older Employees (PDF) state what else you must do as an employer:

  • Discuss re-employment with your employees at least 6 months before they turn 63. This should cover possible re-employment arrangements, skills needed for re-deployment, pay and benefits. Refer to NTUC’s Understanding Re-Employment Guide (PDF) for more information.
  • Discuss subsequent extensions at least 6 months before the previous contract expires.
  • Offer extension of re-employment at least 3 months before the previous contract expires. These extensions should run for at least one year.
  • Reward re-employed employees based on business and individual performance. For example, mature employees who perform well and have not reached their income ceiling should be given annual increments too.

Tripartite Guidelines

Refer to the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices to ensure that you abide by the guidelines on all the relevant practices.

How to Be Progressive

You can go beyond the Tripartite Guidelines to embrace holistic age management practices, such as the ones presented below. These are based on the Tripartite Standard on Age-Friendly Workplaces, which you can adopt to distinguish your organisation.

Recruit Based on Merit

To recruit in a fair and progressive manner, you should:

  • Train hiring staff in fair recruitment practices.
  • Adopt fair employment policies that do not discriminate against mature applicants.
  • Avoid using age as a hiring criterion. However, in support of national efforts to enhance employment opportunities for mature employees, you may state when a job is suitable for mature employees.

You can read about the following recruitment practices for more information: job advertisementsjob application forms and job interviews.


Appoint a Senior Manager to Champion Age-Friendly Practices

The champion must be a member of your organisation's senior management (e.g. director or equivalent), and should:

  • Advocate for the adoption of age-friendly workplace practices.
  • Inform employees of the available age-friendly practices.
  • Implement and review your organisation’s age-friendly practices.
  • Plan and organise events and activities to educate supervisors and HR on these measures.
  • Allocate and manage resources to support the implementation of age-friendly measures.

Know How to Manage a Multi-Generational Workforce

You should train supervisors and managers so that they can address generational gaps in the organisation and create an inclusive work culture. This will enhance everyone's capabilities and leverage diverse skill sets, knowledge, experience and unique perspectives from each generation.

Setting up a fair performance management system and fair reward structures will also further incentivise employees to contribute well to the business.

Find out how mature employees can actively contribute to your organisation's competitive edge in Leading Practices for Managing Mature Employees (PDF).


Redesign Jobs

Successfully managing a multi-generational workforce involves being flexible with changes such as reorganising responsibilities to make the workplace more age-friendly.

Do check that any redesign of a job or workplace meets the following criteria:

  • Easy - Makes the work physically easy. This may include using larger screen displays and mechanical aids to replace manual effort.
  • Safe - Minimises the risk of injuries at work. This may include installing handrails and lights along travel routes, slip-resistant walking surfaces and ergonomic office chairs.
  • Smart - Frees up time for knowledge-based activities. This may include using technology to automate routine tasks and re-training employees to operate machines instead.

For funding support to create physically easier, safer and smarter jobs for employees aged 50 and above, you can tap on the WorkPro Job Redesign Grant (PDF).


Offer Flexible Work Arrangements

Be creative and offer flexible work arrangements (FWAs) that address the specific needs of your mature employees.

FWAs allow mature employees to manage their personal responsibilities while you get to tap on their valuable knowledge and expertise. FWAs can also increase efficiency, employee engagement and productivity; save cost; and retain talents among other benefits.

Find out more about the different types of flexible work arrangements and how to implement them.


Offer Training and Development

You should offer mature employees equal access to training and upskilling programmes to ensure their skills remain relevant.

Investing in lifelong learning for mature employees can pay off in the form of increased employability, productivity and efficiency, greater employee loyalty, improved customer experience and more. Training and development will also help mature employees to take on different roles and keep up with business change.

Offer a Reasonable Level of Flexibility for Mature Employees

As a progressive employer, you can offer flexibility in work schedules, location and tasks. Giving mature employees some form of control or choice over their workstyles will support their needs, and allow them to contribute to the business.

Invest in Their Well-Being

Well-being programmes include:

  • Health workshops (e.g. how to choose healthier food)
  • Fitness programmes
  • Sports activities
  • Corporate social responsibility events
  • Sponsored physical check-ups

You can also design ergonomically friendly and safe workspaces for all employees (e.g. by removing any tripping hazard, investing in desktop plug sockets, using non-skid floor surfaces). When employees stay healthy, you enjoy increased productivity, lowered healthcare costs and improved talent attraction and retention.

Learn how to create a healthier workplace through the Tripartite Oversight Committee on Workplace Health Report (PDF).