Latest news from around the world on mature workers for April 2021.
China takes great leap backward as population falls
China is expected to record its first population decrease in several decades when Beijing releases official census figures after weeks of delay, revealing an intensifying demographic crisis. Discrimination against working women has deterred many couples from starting families. – The Times, 29 April 2021 (pay wall)
Time to rethink future growth channels (Thailand)
Double whammy of Covid-19 impact and transition into an aged society requires a proactive investment policy and an overhaul of govt bureaucracy
Thailand is already considered an “ageing” society, meaning 10% of its population is aged 60 or above. The country has had this status since 2005 but it is now on the verge of becoming an “aged” society this year, which means people aged 60 or over will account for 20% of the population. – Bangkok Post, 29 April 2021
Ageism and countering effects of COVID-19 on Older Australians at work
Speech by Age Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Kay Patterson. – Mirage, 28 April 2021
COVID-19: Older workers suffer biggest annual employment hit since 1980s (UK)
Over-50s have suffered their biggest annual fall in employment since the 1980s as a result of the COVID-19 economic crisis, according to new figures.
A study by the Resolution Foundation found that while under-25s have been by far the worst affected by the hit to jobs caused by the pandemic, the cost of being laid off can be particularly high for older workers. – Sky News, 26 April 2021
China population: what’s driving central bank concern about the nation’s ageing workforce?
A pension deficit and looming debt crisis driven by a rapidly greying population. That’s the nightmare scenario for Chinese authorities, including the nation’s central bank, who are increasingly worried about the financial implications of the country’s demographic challenges.
Official concern about the country’s population problems was highlighted by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) in an unusually frank research paper published last week. – South China Morning Post, 25 April 2021
The ageing reality threatening Josh Frydenberg’s budget
Josh Frydenberg’s half-hour upon the budget stage next month will contain the standard tension between politics and economics, but with an extra twist: Conflict between the budget’s inevitably rosy projections of everyone living happily ever after and Treasury’s looming intergenerational report. … The unanswered challenge is how can the government generate strong aggregate demand against the background of severe population ageing. – The New Daily, 23 April 2021
Kentucky Justices Hear Debate on Cut to Disability Pay for Older Workers (USA)
A Kentuckian whose workers’ compensation disability benefits were reduced because she also qualifies for Social Security challenged the constitutionality of the change before the state’s high court. Kentucky residents hurt on the job after they become eligible for Social Security are treated unfairly under a state law intended to prevent the duplication of so-called income replacement benefits, the Kroger employee argued. – Courthouse News Service, 21 April 202
Executives prioritize being adaptable, inclusive in leading multigenerational workplaces
With employees generally working longer into their lives, company executives must learn how to generate productivity from a multigenerational workforce. Additionally, research shows that the generations — spanning from the Silent Generation to Generation Z — have varying degrees of needs, wants and expectations from their employers. – MyBiz, 25 April 2021
Quality of support for UK over-50s who lost jobs in pandemic raises concern (UK)
The Resolution Foundation has warned that older people who lost their jobs during the pandemic could receive worse support than younger people, leading to large numbers of over-50s falling out of the workforce for good. – The Guardian, 26 April 2021
Middle East carriers to face post-pandemic pilot shortage, consultancy says (UAE)
Middle East airlines will face an “inevitable” shortage of pilots after Covid-19 if they do not begin to act now, according to consultants Oliver Wyman. The Middle East also faces the problem of an ageing workforce, with 20 per cent of pilots older than 55 years, it said. – The National News, 25 April 2021
Who Cares for the Carers? (UK)
The pressures on workers with family carer responsibilities has never been higher, and the need for employers to acknowledge and support those workers never more urgent. This article discusses some of the key protections and support being considered by Government and employers for care-giving workers in the UK. – Lexology, 21 April 2021
Too many Aussie businesses still reluctant to hire older
Almost half of organisations surveyed said they were not keen to hireworkers workers over a certain age, according to joint study. New research published by the Australian HR Institute, together with the Australian Human Rights Commission, shows almost half of Australian businesses say they are reluctant to recruit older workers. – The Australian Times, 21 April 2021
Supporting career prospects for older workers in the post-lockdown economy (UK)
Recent ONS data indicates unemployment for the over-50s is at its highest since 2014, following a 50% rise during the second lockdown. Age discrimination claims at employment tribunals have also risen to their highest level in three years, with the recent figures from HM Courts and Tribunals Service showing 1,608 claims between October and December 2020.
Worryingly, evidence from previous recessions also suggests this age group will struggle the most to find a new job even as the economy recovers, with re-employment rates far lower for the over-50s than for any other group pre-COVID. – Global Banking & Finance Review, 23 April 2021
Has COVID-19 pushed more people into retirement?
Yes, and particularly among the higher paid. While older workers were not disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 recession, many older workers, like their younger counterparts, did experience layoffs. To what extent did these job exits lead to retirement and how did the pattern vary by earnings levels? – Market Watch, 20 April 2021
Qantas in age discrimination case court setback
Qantas is facing a setback in an age discrimination case brought by a pilot. Captain Paul Summers was one of 55 pilots that Qantas offered an early retirement package at the height of the COVID-19 crisis last year. He was offered the package because he was turning 65 prior to July 1, 2022. Pilots under 63 were given the option of taking voluntary redundancy, which was worth three times more than early retirement. – Human Resources Director, 23 April 2021
How the Pandemic Has Shaken Up Retirement (USA)
Pandemic-related job losses forced many older Americans out of the workplace in the past year, perhaps permanently. But the COVID-19 crisis also seems to have delayed some retirements.
Remote work eliminated commutes and often allowed more flexible schedules with fewer interruptions. At the same time, the pandemic restricted many traditional retirement activities, including travel and visits with family. While some employed older workers look forward to retiring when restrictions ease, others say teleworking has made staying on the job more tenable. – Daily Journal, 23 April 2021
Movie Directors Over 40 Battle Hollywood Ageism, Study Finds
Don’t let Hollywood directors like Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorcese making movies seemingly throughout their lives deceive. Yeshiva University professors conclude film directors face age bias from their first projects, especially among women that make it to the director’s chair. – Hollywood Reporter, 22 April 2021
Long-serving Qantas captain wins age discrimination injunction
A pilot who has worked for Qantas for 32 years has won an injunction to stop the airline from terminating his employment because he has turned 65. The Federal Court said while Captain Paul Summers doesn’t have a strong argument, he must remain stood down until the Human Rights Commission can consider the case. – Australian Aviation, 22 April 2021
Many Older Adults Would Choose Work-From-Home Flexibility Over Cash Bonuses (USA)
Many older Americans have grown accustomed to working outside their company’s office and 9-to-5 hours as a result of the pandemic, and 88 percent of those 55 and older now say that they want some degree of control over how, where and when they work.
In a new survey of 2,000 U.S. employees and executives, released by HR research firm Workplace Intelligence and shared-office provider WeWork, 45 percent of 55-and-older workers said they would be willing to give up at least one benefit or perk — such as cash bonuses or paid time off — for the freedom to choose their work environment. – AARP, 22 April 2021
Just one in 20 job adverts mention flexible working, report finds
Employers urged to ensure role descriptions are attractive to age-diverse talent, as research finds references to flexibility are scarce despite a third of firms offering it. – People Management, 22 April 2021
An ageing conundrum (Thailand)
The Finance Ministry is growing concerned about slow economic growth prospects and higher inflationary pressure in the long term as Thailand transitions to an “aged” society. A ministry source who requested anonymity said the country’s demographics are rapidly ageing, resulting from falling fertility rates and rising life expectancy. Having a larger proportion of the population made up of the elderly means fewer people in the workforce. – Bangkok Post, 16 April 2021
Age discrimination alive and well in Irish workplaces
Almost 90% of workers over 55 believe age is an issue when seeking employment
Age discrimination is alive and kicking in Irish workplaces. It’s illegal under the Employment Equality Acts (1998-2015) but those working in the area say little has changed in relation to workplace age discrimination in Ireland in the past 20 years. – Irish Times, 16 April 2021
The COVID-19 Pandemic and its Impact on the Elderly Workforce in the Informal Sector (India)
One of the greatest impacts of the pandemic has been on the informal economy, this has left an unprecedented negative impact on the elderly within the sector who have become more vulnerable than ever before.
Though India is undergoing a vast demographic transition, the unappalled inequity still survives and produces complex relationships laterally across institutions of work and care. The socio-economic disruption caused by the nation-wide lockdown and the precarious set of social protection measures during the COVID -19 pandemic, exposed the vast share of the invisible workforce sustaining the Indian economy. – The New Leam, 16 April 2021
Connecticut lawmakers approve age discrimination bill that would block employers from asking job candidates their date of birth, graduation years
The bipartisan measure was passed unanimously. “It’s extremely important because we are in Connecticut, and we have the sixth-oldest workforce in the nation,” Sen. Derek Slap, a West Hartford Democrat, said on the Senate floor. “When I talk about older workers, anyone age 40 or over is in a protected class. … We want our older workers to get a fair shake.” – Hartford Courant, 14 April 2021
15 Signs Your Employer Wants You To Retire
If you’re at or nearing retirement age, it’s possible your boss wants you to retire, but you just haven’t gotten the memo. Some employers take a direct approach when encouraging workers to start their golden years, while others use more understated tactics. – Yahoo Finance, 12 April 2021
Study Calls for Strengthening Age Discrimination Laws (USA)
A study done for the Brookings Institution calls for strengthening age discrimination laws in light of the trend toward longer working careers, an issue it said is especially important for older workers who work—or want to—in a “bridge” type job between retiring from their main occupation and fully retiring. – FED Week, 8 April 2021
Ageist Attacks Against President Biden Reinforce Outdated Stereotypes—and Hurt Younger People, Too
When President Joe Biden tripped on the stairs up to Air Force One on March 19, the incident immediately touched off a flurry of mockery. Age has long been a powerful political weapon, and Biden has by no means been the sole target. But experts say age-based attacks against Biden and others demonstrate how common ageist stereotypes are in American culture—to everyone’s detriment. – Time, 7 April 2021
Deloitte fights subpoenas over partner retirements
Deloitte is fighting subpoenas that would force it to produce all its retirement discussions with partners once they reach 62 years old as part of a landmark legal challenge to its age-specific retirement policy. – Australian Financial Review, 7 April 2021
A powerful way to keep retirees out of poverty is to tackle this workplace problem (USA)
A recent study by ProPublica and the Urban Institute found that as many as half of the 40 million working adults over age 50 will, at some point, be jettisoned from their jobs (fired outright) or forced to resign (jumping before they’re pushed).
And once pushed out, only 10% of these displaced older workers ever find replacement jobs with pay commensurate with the career jobs they left. – Market Watch 6 April 2021
Redundancies soar among over-50s with further job losses expected, report warns (UK)
The number of older workers made redundant almost tripled to 107,000 between November and January. Redundancies among the over-50s have soared in the past year, and could rise even further once employers are required to contribute more towards the pay of furloughed staff, a report has warned. – The Independent, 5 April 2021
The Power of Proximity: Co-Locating Childcare and Eldercare Programs (USA)
Intergenerational shared sites that bring childcare and eldercare under the same roof help both generations thrive, and we need to build more of them. – Stanford Social Innovation Review, 5 April 2021
KPMG shakes up retirement age policy
KPMG announced changes to its partnership agreement on Wednesday that will see its expected retirement age of 58 scrapped.
KPMG Australia Chairman Alison Kitchen said she was pleased to see support for the board’s recommendations amid changing ideas and expectations.
“The Board was explicit that we needed to change,” she said. “The shape of the partnership is changing, with many partners joining from outside the firm, or from within but later in their careers.” – Accountants Daily, 1 April 2021