by Ananya Mukherjee

As Singapore’s workforce profile eventually changes to an older, more experienced one, those in the manager jobs and director jobs know how to incorporate the tangible and intangible benefits of hiring and retaining mature workers to maximise bottom-line results. The National University Hospital (NUH) is one such example.

At NUH, it starts with the mindset, says Clara Wee, Director, human resources, National University Hospital. “I am heartened to have top   management and senior leaders who strongly believe that our mature workers are an essential part of our hospital workforce. They are not just an extra pair of hands or supporting cast. They are, in fact, a critical resource in helping us deliver excellent patient care.”      

In addition, as part of its performance management practices, NUH does not make any downward revision to the staff  salary at age 60 or 62.   Employees who are re-employed to the same post, where their job scope and job size remains unchanged, will continue to draw the same salary  as before. If there is variation to the job scope in terms of reduction in job size, the salary of the re-employed staff  at age 62 is in  accordance to the job size. Staff  is also entitled to bonuses that commensurate with performance grades, annual increments and promotion  opportunities.

NUH is also the only hospital to have successfully received a $400k ADVANTAGE fund from NTUC to implement job re-design for its older   workers. A lighter and more compact food trolley system (from 100kg to 30kg) and motorised pharmacy trolleys to enable them to better perform  the job at ease has been introduced.  Also, the New Materials Requisition programme system has now been revamped. This has been done by  leveraging on technology where items are now recorded and managed electronically.  Furthermore, mature workers have been provided with  magnifying glasses to read labels clearly, Wee shares.

Age No Barrier At All

• Duration of Re-employment Contract has been extended to up to three years. This re-employment is conditional upon the employee’s  performance, health and is capped at 67 years

• There is no rebase of annual leave. Staff continue to enjoy annual leave entitlement before their retirement at 62 years

• Family Care Leave of three working days for  – attending to spouse who is unwell  – Grandparents’ leave

• Outpatient medical benefits (non-specialist & specialist) have been extended to the spouse of  employees on post retirement contracts who are  not working or not receiving medical benefits from  his/her employer. The quantum is similar to other permanent staff.