National Environment Agency

​​​​Recognising the value and potential of older workers, the NEA is ahead of most organisations in the older workforce management curve. They have had great success in attracting, retaining and engaging older workers through their innovative HR, work-life and age-friendly programmes, while catering to their​ wide spectrum of staff whose needs span across the different life stages.

Facts in a Flash

Industry Industry: Public Service

Employment size Employment size: Above 3,000

Employment profile  Employment profile: Professional, technical, research and administrative staff and specialists in the field of  environmental health; almost half of workforce are aged 50 and above

Employment profile Featured work-life programmes:

Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Phased retirement
  • Telecommuting
  • Part-time work
  • Staggered time
Employee Support Schemes
  • Flexi-Benefits Scheme (employees entitled to a specific amount annually which may be used for health and wellness, pro-family or continuous learning activities)
  • Regular roadshows, featuring health vendors, held in NEA premises for easy usage of flexi-benefits to purchase health products and equipment
  • Health & wellness programmes led by Sports & Recreation Club and Panel for Employee Engagement
  • Sports Convenor who organises monthly sports activities
  • 1-hour time off each week to exercise, unwind and keep fit
  • Sponsorship programmes and training courses
Leave Schemes
  • Eldercare sick leave (3 days paid leave)
  • Birthday leave
Click here to o​​​​​​​pen the Executive Summary.

Success Factors

1. Organisational Leadership Strategies

The National Environment Agency (NEA) strongly believes that a robust work-life framework, incorporating elements of its HR strategies, is integral to employee attraction and engagement.

When formulating policies and programmes, NEA is always mindful of the need to cater to the wide spectrum of staff whose needs span across the different life stages. NEA recognises the value that older employees bring to the organisation and the management views its older employees through a holistic lens: programmes are designed to cater to their physical, social and emotional needs, while tapping on their wealth of experience to create win-win solutions for both the organisation and individual.

2. Organisational Work-life Strategy

NEA set up a work-life framework to address the work, personal, family, social and community needs of the staff. While its work-life schemes and programmes are coordinated by the Human Resource Division (HRD), it also involves the work of various committees that sits outside of HRD, to execute the different aspects of NEA’s Work-Life Harmony framework.

NEA’s programmes and policies are an extension of their corporate core value, “Caring, where every individual is valued”. Programmes include a range of FWAs, such as the use of the part-time scheme which not only meets the needs of older employees who want to continue to be in the workforce, but also those who prefer to scale down on their working hours to free up time for other commitments. For e.g. re-employing executive staff who have reached their retirement age as consultants and/or hiring retired employees as adjunct fellows on full-time or part-time schemes, etc.

Promising Outcomes

Its work-life efforts have attributed to a low attrition in the organisation. A large proportion of its older employees also feel happy and are motivated at work.

By utilising effective work-life practices, in particular FWAs, NEA has managed to extend the working life of older employees. NEA has done well in being proactive in its strategic efforts in managing and harnessing the gold that is found in its older workforce.

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This case study was first published on the former Employer Alliance website.​