Friday, April 18, 2014

Australia: Study Finds Governments Not Doing Enough To Hire Older Workers

According to a study using Australian Bureau of Statistics and Census data, both federal and state governments in Australia lag well behind the private sector when it comes to employing older workers. In "Past, present and future of mature age labour force participation in Australia," the National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre highlights variations in rates of aging and mature age participation across the country.

National Seniors points in particular to a marked decline in the proportion of people aged 60 and over employed by governments, noting that around 16.4% of men aged 50 to 59 work across national, state and local bureaucracies, but this falls to 12.7% for men in their 60s, while women drop from 24.2% in their 50s to 20.1%. In contrast, private sector employment actually increases as people age.

According to National Seniors chief executive Michael O’Neill, “[t]he public service should represent the gold standard in hiring and retaining mature age staff. Instead, public servants aged over 60 are a rare breed across the country....When it comes to employing senior Australians, governments, both federal and state, get a big ‘F’”.

The report concludes that an aging workforce underscores the importance of addressing the barriers to mature age employment from age limits on workers compensation to discriminatory recruitment practices. In addition, the projected decline in the overall growth in labor supply over the next 30 years underscores the need for governments, industry and employers to recognize the importance of ongoing mature age participation.

Source: National Seniors Press Release (April 17, 2014)

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