Friday, October 05, 2012

Australia: Discussion Paper Released on Legal Barriers to Employing Older Workers

The Australian Law Reform Commission has released a discussion paper for the Commission's inquiry into legal barriers to older persons participating in the workforce and other productive work. In "Grey Areas: Age Barriers to Work in Commonwealth Laws," the Commission highlights its thinking to date and puts forward proposals for law reform in the areas of recruitment and employment, work health and safety, insurance, social security, and superannuation.

For example, on the issue of recruitment, the paper notes that "Mature age job seekers face multiple and intersecting difficulties in entering or re-entering the workforce and often utilise either the national employment services system or the services of private recruitment agencies." One proposal being put forward is that "The Fair Work Ombudsman should undertake a national recruitment industry campaign to educate and assess the compliance of recruitment agencies with workplace laws, specifically with respect to practices affecting mature age job seekers and workers."

Individuals and organizations are asked to make submissions in response to the 36 proposals and 15 questions in the discussion paper. Submissions may be made until November 23, 2012 at www.alrc.gov.au/content/age-barriers-work-discussion-paper.

Source: Australian Law Reform Commission Media Release (October 2, 2012)

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