Jobs re­de­fined

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Living -

WITH the chang­ing world of work comes chang­ing re­tire­ment.

This is a con­cern of the Em­ploy­ees Prov­i­dent Fund, said its deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of strat­egy di­vi­sion Tunku Al­iza­kri Alias. “From an EPF per­spec­tive, how do we pro­vide so­cial se­cu­rity and pro­tect those who fall out of the for­mal em­ploy­ment sec­tor like those in the gig econ­omy or do things in ar­eas that are not tra­di­tion­ally boxed as jobs?”

There is a need to look at Malaysia’s poli­cies in this re­gard, in­clud­ing re­defin­ing the mean­ing of “job” in the fu­ture, he added.

“This is some­thing that the Gov­ern­ment need to think about: what is a job, how do you de­fine it?

“The def­i­ni­tion of job from a pol­icy per­spec­tive is that you en­ter into some­thing with a con­tract and get re­warded for the work that you put in. Maybe in the fu­ture we need to re­de­fine what a job is – should it be about be­ing able to con­trib­ute and be­ing pro­duc­tive, and not so much about re­ceiv­ing a tan­gi­ble re­ward?”

While there will be a range of “new jobs” cre­ated by the tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments and dis­rup­tions on the work sec­tor, Tunku Al­iza­kri be­lieves at­ten­tion also needs to be given to tra­di­tion­ally un­paid work like home­mak­ing.

“We need to look at the tra­di­tional work that were never seen as valu­able like that of home­mak­ers’. Why are we not putting a value on it? Why can’t we com­pen­sate the home­mak­ers? How can we pro­tect the work­ers who are do­ing this job?”

Tunku Al­iza­kri also cited Malaysia’s at­ti­tude to­wards age­ing as a con­cern for Malaysia’s pre­pared­ness for the fu­ture.

“In Malaysia our av­er­age life ex­pectancy is 75 years old, and we keep on think­ing that peo­ple aged 60 and above are al­ready old and use­less and should be put out to pas­ture.

“But if we con­tinue like that, can you imag­ine how some­one who is re­tired at 60, liv­ing right up to 75 on a gov­ern­ment in­fra­struc­ture that does not have enough funds, sus­tain their qual­ity of life?

“At the same time we lose out on the pro­duc­tive years that they will still be able to of­fer; at 60 to 65, peo­ple are usu­ally still pro­duc­tive and if we don’t tap into their pro­duc­tiv­ity, the gov­ern­ment will lose out.

“But our gov­ern­ment in­fra­struc­ture at this time does not take into ac­count the new busi­ness mod­els and the al­ready aris­ing longevity is­sues,” he said, un­der­lin­ing the im­por­tance of the Gov­ern­ment act­ing fast to meet the chal­lenges. An­other is­sue is whether the grey so­ciey can ad­just and adapt o the rapidly chang­ing world.

“As the world gets older, how can so­ci­ety adapt to the tech­no­log­i­cal changes that we are see­ing to­day?,” posed The Star’s Fea­tures Edi­tor, Busi­ness, Jagdev Singh Sidhu at The EPF-The Star Roundtable on “The Fu­ture of work: Pre­par­ing for to­mor­row to­day”, that he was mod­er­at­ing.

Willis Tow­ers Watson man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and global prac­tice leader Ravin Je­suthasan said we should learn from the golden gen­er­a­tion of the United States who have en­thu­si­as­ti­cally em­braced tech­nol­ogy.

“The rate at which re­tirees there have em­braced tal­ent plat­forms have made them one of the top ten groups on the plat­form.

“Their will­ing­ness to move on and take on the gig econ­omy is in­ter­est­ing, par­tic­u­larly when we still have com­mu­ni­ties that are cal­i­brated to jobs un­til the fixed re­tire­ment age.”

Now that we are liv­ing longer, the pro­duc­tive use of hu­man cap­i­tal, whether at in­di­vid­ual or coun­try level, has huge im­pli­ca­tions on re­tire­ment, Ravin added, “And it will help us look at how we can sus­tain the older gen­er­a­tion, es­pe­cially in age­ing so­ci­eties and ma­ture economies.”

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