Editor’s picks

Latest news from around the world on mature workers for February 2021.

  • ‘It breaks my heart’: Pandemic puts Malvern East business owner out of work at 58

    Fiona Caffery never thought she’d be looking for a job at 58. The small business owner was planning on working for another five years before selling her travel agency, scaling back her hours and retiring.  – The Age, 24 February 2021

  • JobMaker could pay bosses to cut wages and jobs, warns Treasury

    Employers could sack experienced employees, replace them with workers earning just a third of the salary and get a taxpayer-funded grant to do it, previously secret Treasury documents have revealed. JobMaker is intended to create new jobs — the ‘headcount’ of the business must increase — but the scheme immediately created concerns it would discriminate against older people in the jobs market.  – ABC News, 23 February 2021

  • Thailand- the first large country with a fertility problem yet without wealth to easily fund healthcare for the old

    Thailand is facing a demographic crisis in about 15 years as things currently stand as the number of workers to cope with a rapidly ageing population dwindles.  Thai Examiner, 14 February 2021

  • Employers turn to middle-aged workers as Taiwan population ages

    Employers in Taiwan are increasingly turning to middle-aged and senior workers as the country ages rapidly, on the back of a shrinking population caused by a falling birth rate.  – Focus Taiwan, 13 February 2021

  • Deloitte expects partners will retire at 62 (Australia)

    Big four consultancy Deloitte has an “expectation” that partners will retire at 62 years of age, according to documents filed in the Federal Court as part of a landmark age discrimination case that could shake up the partnership structures of large professional services firms.

    The firm claimed the “expectation” to retire did not mean partners were obliged to do so, but employment lawyers warn this still runs afoul of discrimination laws.  Australian Financial Review, 9 February 2021

  • Employees want increased flexibility after the pandemic

    Employees with caring responsibilities fear the loss of flexibility later in the year as more sectors of the economy return to similar working patters as those prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Personnel Today, 8 February 2021

  • They went bust in the Great Recession. Now, in their 80s, the pandemic took their jobs

    Unemployed seniors typically have more trouble finding new jobs than younger workers. Dan and Grace Porte, who are in their mid-80s, lost their jobs at Target early in the Covid pandemic. That may present financial challenges. Dan and Grace supplemented Social Security with job income. The couple, from Richmond, Virginia, had worked together for decades. Now, the recession’s challenges have brought them even closer together.   CNBC, 6 February 2021

  • ‘Lost generation of unemployed’: Covid hits careers of over-50s (UK)

    Older workers who lose their jobs are more than twice as likely as other age groups to be unemployed for at least two years.

    Lisa Griffiths, a 61-year-old special needs nanny, has spent her career easily moving from one contract to the next. So when her last, five-year contract ended recently, she was shocked to find new employment opportunities far more limited than she had expected. Then, while she was considering her options, the pandemic hit and work dried up altogether.  The Guardian, 4 February 2021

  • The crisis affecting employees that they’re too afraid to speak up about (USA)

    It’s estimated that more than 41.8 million Americans are unpaid caregivers for another adult, according to a recently released AARP report. There are 8 million more caregivers today compared to five years prior. The COVID-19 pandemic has made caregiving for an ageing reality a new reality for even more Americans. After being isolated within long-term care facilities and unable to see family members due to safety precautions, older Americans are embracing another option — aging in place, often bringing along more responsibility to their adult children. For many families, this means that family homes are once again multi-generation, putting even more strain on caregivers who are now balancing caring for their kids and their parents.  Employee Benefit News, 3 February 2021

  • Caregiving and COVID: Ways women can thrive at work and home

    It is not hard to believe most American family caregivers also have paying jobs. In fact, over 29.2 million — a whopping 61 percent — hold down a job (or two) while caring for a loved one or friend. For years, there have been growing concerns about those caregivers leaving or losing employment due to family caregiving responsibilities. Add to that the so-called “caregiving cliff” — a time in the 2020s when it is expected there will be more people who need care than people able to provide it. Then last year, along came the coronavirus and everything changed. The pandemic instantaneously shed light on the plight of working caregivers and accelerated the need to make major changes in how our society supports them.  – AARP, 2 February 2021

  • Taiwan protects working rights of middle-aged and senior workers

    The Middle-aged and Senior-aged Employment Act came into force on 4 December 2020 and seeks to protect the working rights of two groups – the middle-aged (45 to 65 years old) and the seniors (over 65 years old), covering both citizens and qualified foreigners.

    Employers are not allowed to show differential treatment against employees or job seekers on the basis of age unless there is an applicable legal exception, eg, the rationale is based on the requirements or special features of the job. It requires employers to provide equal opportunities pertaining to recruitment, promotion, performance evaluation, training, remuneration and retirement.  HRM Asia, 2 February 2021

  • Men detect more workplace discrimination than women, finds Finnish survey

    Men detect workplace discrimination more often than women, suggests a survey commissioned by the Federation of Finnish Enterprises. The employer organisation reported yesterday that male respondents to the survey detected significantly more discrimination based on age, health, political views, ethnic background or sexual orientation at their workplace than women. Age-based discrimination, the survey found, is the most common form of workplace discrimination in the country, with 16 per cent of respondents reporting they have detected it. The only forms of discrimination that were detected equally by men and women were discrimination based on the gender (11%) and part-time status (12%) of employees.  Helsinki Times, 1 February 2021

  • Debate about extending retirement age (Malaysia)

    The slightly longer lifespan of Malaysians today has recently brought about the debate of whether a higher retirement age should be pursued as an official policy.

    While this observation is prevalent, there are concerns on the other end of this argument that officially allowing higher retirement ages may hinder employment opportunities for those who are new to the workforce.  The Star, 1 February 2021

  • Men detect more workplace discrimination than women, finds Finnish survey

    Men detect workplace discrimination more often than women, suggests a survey commissioned by the Federation of Finnish Enterprises. The employer organisation reported yesterday that male respondents to the survey detected significantly more discrimination based on age, health, political views, ethnic background or sexual orientation at their workplace than women.

    Age-based discrimination, the survey found, is the most common form of workplace

    discrimination in the country, with 16 per cent of respondents reporting they have detected it. The only forms of discrimination that were detected equally by men and women were discrimination based on the gender (11%) and part-time status (12%) of employees.  – Helsinki Times, 1 February 2021