Friday, May 31, 2013

Australia: Commission Report Calls for Addressing Barriers to Labor Force Participation by Mature Age People

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) released the final report for its inquiry into legal barriers to older persons participating in the workforce and other productive work. In "Access All Ages—Older Workers and Commonwealth Laws," ALRC makes 36 recommendations that address the areas of recruitment and employment, work, health and safety, workers’ compensation, insurance, social security, and superannuation, with the keystone recommendation being for a National Mature Age Workforce Participation Plan to provide a coordinated policy response to address barriers to participation by mature age people in the Australian labor market.

The ALRC considers that the Report’s recommendations, taken together, will provide:
  • a coordinated policy response to enabling mature age workforce participation;
  • consistency across Commonwealth laws and between Commonwealth and state and territory laws to support mature age workforce participation;
  • a reduction in age discrimination;
    a greater awareness of mature age workers’ rights and entitlements;
  • support for maintaining attachment to the workforce for mature age people; and
  • work environments, practices and processes that are appropriate for mature age workers.
In its response, National Seniors welcomes the report and many of its recommendations, but believes that the report does not got far enough. National Seniors argues that all age restrictions for workers compensation and superannuation should be repealed. Sources: Australian Law Reform Commission Media Release (May 30, 2013); National Seniors Media Release (May 30, 2013)

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