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Does your organisation hire mature age workers?
By AgCareers.com Australia

 



In May 2009 the Australian Government increased the pension age from 65 to 67 years of age, and in 2017 a sliding scale will be introduced for those born after July 1952 or more. Anyone born after 1965 who is entitled to receive a Government age pension will then be eligible at age 70.

Whether it's the pension age increase, people choosing to retire later, our aging population or other factors, Australia sees a large number of older Australians seeking workforce participation. 

Recently the Human Rights Commission reported that Australian companies are less likely to employ older workers due to false perceptions that they are resistant to change and "won't fit in," but there can be many benefits when hiring the right mature age candidate, including:

 

  • -  Experienced workers have built up knowledge and skills during their time in the workforce.

  • -  Employee loyalty saves money on absenteeism, training and recruitment. There is evidence that workers aged over 55 are five times less likely to change jobs compared with workers aged 20-24.

  • -  According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data, mature age people are the fastest growing users of information technology.

  • -  Older workers have been in the workforce longer and they've had more time to meet people and network along the way. These established contacts may be of benefit to your business.

  • -  Mature age workers can provide excellent mentorship to their younger counterparts.


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The Australian Government provides a financial incentive to employers when hiring older workers. The Restart programmeoffers employers up to $10,000 if they hire and retain a full time job seeker aged 50 or older, who has been unemployed and on income support for six months or more.

An organisation must take care when considering older job candidates for the positions they have on offer.

The Age Discrimination Act 2004 (ADA) makes it unlawful to treat people less favourably because of their age, protecting both younger and older Australians.

In fact, as tested in a recent discrimination case, it is not permissible to ask for a candidate's date of birth on an employment application form.

When hiring for your organisation ensure that you have the employees with the skills to achieve your long term business goals. You may wish to consider Introducing a recruitment strategy which draws from the widest possible talent pool across all age groups.