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Establishing a framework on paying senior volunteers

Response to parliamentary question on whether the Government will consider establishing a framework on paid volunteering work for seniors

Oral PQ 5475 Ms See Jinli Jean: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth in recognition of the importance of dignified, sustainable and employability of our ageing demographics, whether the Government will consider establishing a framework on paid volunteering work that will guide the provision of subsistence compensation to robust seniors who are engaged by social and community organisations, such as active ageing centres, to support their operations.

  1. The Government works with various partners to enable seniors to stay active, engage with and contribute to the community through volunteering. This includes efforts to:
    1. Engage seniors at the workplace and in the community to encourage them to volunteer; and
    2. Build the capabilities of organisations hosting volunteers to engage senior volunteers well, from volunteer training and development to volunteer recognition and appreciation.
  2. We do not have a framework to mandate or institutionalise the provision of “subsistence compensation” to volunteers, seniors or otherwise, when they undertake volunteer work. However, some volunteer host organisations do help to defray the cost of meals and transport that volunteers may have incurred whilst volunteering.
  3. There are also initiatives to promote active ageing through micro-jobs for seniors. For instance, the Centre for Seniors (CFS) has worked with the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) and Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities (THKMC) on a micro-job scheme1, where seniors receive a small allowance for work done such as delivering food, organising programmes and outings, and providing medication reminders in person to frail seniors living in the community.
  4. MCCY will continue to work with all partners to promote volunteerism and active ageing among seniors. Volunteerism is a calling, and we hope to instil a volunteerism spirit in all Singaporeans, to reflect a shared sense of mutual responsibility to all Singaporeans. We do not, at this stage, intend to institute a framework to mandate or institutionalise the provision of allowances for volunteering.

The scheme has been rolled out at four Lions Befrienders’ Active Ageing Centres and eleven THKMC’s Active Ageing Centres.

 

Last updated on 06 February 2024