Workplace of 50 years is her ‘second home’
Betty Koh says The American Club treats her the same as younger co-workers
Madam Betty Koh started working as a receptionist at The American Club when she was 19.
Fifty years on, she is still there, having gone through various positions, including coordinator at its fitness and leisure department for 10 years.
She has been a retail assistant at its convenience store for seven years.
The club made her job less stressful and physically taxing when she reached retirement age.
Madam Koh told The New Paper: "The club is my second home. I love to meet the members as they are friends, while my colleagues are family."
In 2016, Madam Koh made a personal commitment to the Fair@Work Promise, an initiative launched by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) to promote fair and inclusive workplaces. It advocates seeing employees for their abilities and not judging them based on stereotypes or biases.
Madam Koh said there is no discrimination or gender and age barriers in her workplace.
"I want to see more organisations in Singapore do the same for their older staff, where the work environment is fair for employees," she added.
Employees of such companies as Singapore Press Holdings, Starbucks Coffee Singapore and OCBC Bank were among the first to make their pledge on the Fair@Work microsite in 2016.
The number had swelled to more than 7,800 people by the end of last year. Individuals can go to www.tafep.sg/fairatworkpromise to pledge online.
Madam Koh added that she is treated the same as any younger employee, and even went on a trekking trip to Nepal with her colleagues last year.
“There is no difference in employment benefits, I still get my annual increment and medical benefits, and I mingle with my younger colleagues,” she said.
Ms Tan Lee Lee, senior director of People Development at The American Club, said: “Tafep has been a great partner and help for employers. We can look to them for guidance or assistance on putting in place fair and progressive HR practices.
“To show our commitment for fair and progressive HR practices, we have recently adopted the Tripartite Standard on Age-friendly Workplace Practices, which allows us to benchmark our own age-friendly practices and make continuous improvements in our People Management initiatives.”
General manager of Tafep, Ms Roslyn Ten, said older workers form a critical part of Singapore’s workforce.
She added: “Older workers too, should remain open to learning new skills and opportunities. This will help enhance their employability, allowing them to continue contributing meaningfully, just like Madam Betty Koh.
"Employers should embrace an age-inclusive mindset and harness the potential of their older workforce, be it redesigning jobs to tap their strengths or providing training opportunities for them."
Tafep is also the main sponsor for this year’s The New Paper Big Walk. It promotes the adoption of fair, responsible and progressive employment practices and helps companies build progressive workplaces.
Mrs Ten said: "It is our first time participating in The Big Walk, which many Singaporeans look forward to every year.
"Tafep will involve various employers we have worked with together with their employees to join us and show their commitment towards building fair and inclusive workplaces."
Details on the Big Walk
WHAT The New Paper Big Walk
WHEN Sunday, Nov 18, from 7am
WHERE Singapore Sports Hub
REGISTRATION Register online at tnpbigwalk.com
REGISTRATION FEE For early-bird sign-ups until Oct 21: $12. Normal rate: $20