Parliamentary Question by Mr Desmond Choo:
To ask the Minister for Finance how does the Public Service ensure that its outsourced providers have good re-employment and age-friendly hiring practices.
Parliamentary Reply by Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat:
1. The Government encourages all employers to have good re-employment and age-friendly hiring practices. This is achieved through broad-based measures that are available to all employers, including Government’s outsourced providers. For instance, the Special Employment Credit provides wage offsets to employers who hire older Singaporean workers aged 55 and above and earning up to $4,000 a month. An additional wage-offset of up to 3% of monthly wages encourages the employment of older workers above the re-employment age of 67.
2. To facilitate age-friendly employment practices, companies can tap on the WorkPro Age Management Grant. The Government has also worked with tripartite partners on the Tripartite Standard on Age-friendly Workplace Practices to encourage employers to adopt age-friendly practices. These employers commit not to use age as a selection criterion in recruitment, and commit to engage employees on re-employment issues at least six months prior to the retirement age and subsequent extension of re-employment contract. The tripartite partners have also issued the Tripartite Guidelines on Re-employment of Older Employees which provides and calls on employers to adopt good practices in re-employment.
3. In support of these efforts, the Government ensures that its tender specifications do not discriminate against outsourced workers in any industry based on factors such as age or gender. As the primary objective of procurement is to obtain goods and services, our specifications do not dictate the employment practices of service providers. Promoting good employment practices is better achieved through the measures described above. The Government will continue to review the relevance and effectiveness of our policies in this area.