Tuesday, May 01, 2018

New Zealand: Research Published on Income Losses for Injured Older Workers

According to University of Otago research, injuries impact on the financial well-being of older workers with substantial lost earnings of between 20% and 30% of their work income, but that the loss in work income is mitigated by public income transfers. Thus, the average total income losses are much less overall at between 3% and 7%.

As authored by Senior Research Fellow at the University of Otago’s Injury Prevention Research Unit, Dr Rebbecca Lilley, and Injury Prevention Research Unit Deputy Director Gabrielle Davie, "Financial impact of injury in older workers: use of a national retrospective e-cohort to compare income patterns over 3 years in a universal injury compensation scheme" highlights the importance of the social welfare safety nets New Zealand currently has.
Using Statistics NZ’s Integrated Data Infrastructure, the researchers identified a cohort of 617,722 workers aged 45 to 64 years, of whom more than 20,000 had a substantial work or non-work injury in 2009. They followed the cohort for three years and found income reduced over that time with the losses greater for those that were injured. In the third year, those injured received on average NZ$2,630 less than the comparison group, equivalent to a seven per cent drop in income.
The authors note that, like many developed nations, New Zealand’s working population is rapidly aging which has implications for the burden of injury and subsequent injury-related disability in New Zealand. By 2023, one in three of New Zealand’s workers will be aged over 45.

Dr Lilley says given the country has an aging population and people are increasingly continuing to work past the traditional retirement age, it is important that workplaces do everything they can to help get people back to work as soon as possible. “Older workers are renowned for being a highly reliable and engaged workforce and given we have a rapidly ageing workforce and future employment shortages, it’s vital that workplaces really engage with improving working conditions to encourage their workers to get back to work more rapidly."

Source: University of Otega News Release (May 1, 2018)

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