Editor’s picks

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

  • More Support for Older Caregivers Could Boost U.S. Economy

    Many family caregivers are familiar with the financial impact of trying to balance the responsibilities of their jobs and careers with their duties caring for their loved ones. But with more than 48 million caregivers across the country, those personal costs can add up to a massive toll on the nation’s economy.

    New research from AARP finds that if employers and governments enacted more supports for working family caregivers age 50 and older, not only would the productivity of these workers increase, but the policies also could cause the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by as much as $1.7 trillion by 2030. That economic boost could grow to $4.1 trillion by 2050.  – AARP, 29 March 2021

  • KPMG dumps retirement age rules for partners

    Partners at consultant KPMG have voted to abolish the firm’s expected retirement age of 58 from July 1 this year, partly in response to changing community and client ideas. The move follows a review announced last August and comes after rival firm EY Oceania dropped a similar clause and as Deloitte Australia faces a landmark lawsuit over its age-based retirement policy.  – Australian Financial Review, 31 March 2021

  • Legal manager told she couldn’t enjoy promotion perks ‘at her age’ (USA)

    A manager of legal and corporate affairs contented that her company’s general counsel acknowledged that she was qualified for a promotion to director but told her that “at her age” it would not be beneficial for her to be granted the restricted stock or stock options that come with the job because she didn’t have enough time left in her career for the stocks’ value to significantly increase. The woman is alleging discrimination on the grounds of age and gender.  – HR Dive, 31 March 2021

  • What to know when putting together your firm’s menopause policy (UK)

    The Drum speaks to employment experts, support organizations and companies that have already implemented policies to find out how firms can support menopausal people in the workplace.  – The Drum, 29 March 2021

  • OECD urges Indonesia to equip workers with digital skills

    The latest OECD Economic Survey of Indonesia highlighted that, even before the crisis, skills shortages and high youth unemployment were challenges the country faced. As such, the survey recommends stepping up vocational education and adult training, with an emphasis on digital skills.

    Also, recruiting more people – particularly women, internal migrants and foreign workers – into the workforce will be crucial to alleviate the pressures of an ageing population, said the survey.  – HRM Asia, 23 March 2021

  • A revolutionary ‘gray army’ of older workers is fighting our youth-obsessed culture — and we’ll all benefit if they win

    Across the U.S., older employees are prodding their organizations to promote age diversity with the same initiative and interest awarded to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability. They are pushing for a place and a purpose within an organization that reflects and respects their skills and expertise — and the most innovative institutions, companies and CEOs will either lead, follow or get out of the way.  – Market Watch, 23 March 2021

  • Japan’s Glass Ceiling: Obstacles to Women’s Participation in the Workplace

    Female participation in Japan’s workforce has increased in the last few decades but Japan still ranks poorly in terms of women’s participation in politics and corporate organisations relative to other developed economies. Initiatives to rectify this inequality struggle to due to gendered social expectations and unfavourable political conditions.  – Global Risk Insights, 22 March 2021

  • The pandemic baby bust

    What can we expect once countries permanently end lockdown restrictions? A mini ‘baby boom’ seems likely as economic and social activity, weddings and fertility treatments resume. Yet in the same way that downturns create economic ‘scarring’, which impedes future growth, the pandemic recession could cause some people to abandon plans to have children. The full extent of such effects will depend on the pace of the economic recovery and the impact on jobs and incomes. Rebooting consumer confidence holds the key to growth and birth rates.  – Reaction, 22 March 2021

  • Uncertainty for the elderly (Thailand)

    Thailand’s trajectory sees it becoming a “super-aged” society in 2031, where those aged 60 and over make up 28% of the population. These demographics present great challenges for policymakers and demand an urgency in planning.  – Bangkok Post, 22 March 2021

  • Addressing ageism (ABC Radio talkback)

    More than half of people worldwide are ageist, that’s according to a report released by the World Health Organization. Both young and old people can be disadvantaged and discriminated against because of their age.

    We hear your stories of age discrimination and how it’s affected you, as well as talking through some solutions.


    Marlene Krasovitsky, co-chair and director of the Every Age Counts Campaign

    Lucy Stronach, 2021 Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations

    – Life Matters, ABC Radio, 22 March 2021

  • Department of Health ordered to pay official €40,000 for age discrimination (Ireland)

    The Workplace Relations Commission agreed, based on a statistical analysis of the data provided by the department, that older candidates in the age range of 50 to 65 years had a significantly lower chance of being shortlisted for interview.  – The Independent, 22 March 2021

  • Chinese workers fear job discrimination will rise under plans to increase mandatory retirement age

    Workplace bias is already widely considered a problem in China’s labour market, and letting people work longer could make finding and keeping a job even more difficult. Older employees in white-collar private jobs could end up forced out of long-held roles, especially as competition for jobs among new university graduates intensifies every year  – South China Morning Post, 19 March 2021

  • Ageism leads to poorer health, social isolation, earlier deaths and cost economies billions: report calls for swift action to implement effective anti-ageism strategies

    Every second person in the world is believed to hold ageist attitudes – leading to poorer physical and mental health and reduced quality of life for older persons, costing societies billions of dollars each year, according to a new United Nations report on ageism. – United Nations, 18 March 2021

  • Multiple case numbers soar at employment tribunals (UK)

    The statistics show a significant increase in claims of age discrimination. This may suggest two scenarios – either employers are targeting older workers when selecting for redundancy or, more likely, that claims are coming from younger workers who appear to have been most affected by Covid-related redundancies or furlough.”  – Personnel Today, 11 March 2021

  • Deloitte retirement case making it ‘very difficult’ to stay

    The Deloitte audit partner who is challenging an allegedly unlawful retirement policy that partners quit at age 62 says his legal case is making it increasingly difficult for him to remain with the firm.  Australian Financial Review, 8 March 2021

  • As Singapore society ages, who will care for the caregivers?

    Caring for an invalid elderly demands a lot from the caregivers even in the best of times; in perilous times it gets worse. In greying Singapore, it is estimated that there are more than 210,000 caregivers — many of whom have had to compromise their careers, finances and even their own health to look after their ill or disabled loved ones.  Channel News Asia, 8 March 2021

  • Zoom ready’: male demand for cosmetic procedures rising (UK)

    UK plastic surgeons report 70% rise in consultation requests in 2020, with Botox and fillers in demand. According to a report in Esquire magazine, the need to look “Zoom ready” has led to a surge in demand for procedures. It is not helped by the fact that 11% of men feel as if they look five years older as a result of the stress brought about by lockdown, according to a report from the Uvence clinic from September.  The Guardian, 4 March 2021

  • COVID Unemployment: Many Over Age 50 Having Difficult Time Finding Work In Their Field (USA)

    The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in millions of Americans losing their jobs. Some have even able to re-enter the workforce, but experts say one group is especially struggling to do so.

    A new report has found more than 3 million workers aged 55 and above lost their jobs during the pandemic … the numbers are even worse for workers of colour because many are employed in sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. Since October, the decline in employment for Black, Hispanic, and Asian older workers was more than twice that of white older workers. CBS New York, 3 March 2021

  • ‘The rooster and the sunrise’: Court finds 71-year-old was not discriminated against when job offer was withdrawn

    The prospective employee had been offered a role as a business development manager with Hikvision Australia Pty Ltd. However, after receiving the offer of employment in writing, which set out his remuneration and commencement date, and then providing his identification and employment information, which disclosed his age, the offer was rescinded. The Court [found he was not discriminated against] and warned that, just because the offer was withdrawn immediately after the prospective employee disclosed his date of birth, this could not automatically lead to the conclusion that this had been the cause – drawing an analogy to the rooster’s crow before dawn, which meant that rooster’s crow caused the sun to rise.  Smart Company, 3 March 2021

  • Age bias must be tackled or employers will miss out on talent

    Working with the Institute for Employment Studies, we spoke to 20 HR professionals and five recruitment and diversity specialists to understand employers’ perspectives on age-bias in the recruitment process. Despite many employers stating diversity and inclusion were important to them, few had strategies or approaches specifically aimed at making the recruitment process more diverse and inclusive in the context of age. Employers were more likely to believe that they needed to take immediate action on gender and racial diversity, and many analysed workforce and applicant data on those specific protected characteristics and measured these against broader diversity and inclusion strategies. But none of the employers or recruiters interviewed had a specific strategy to improve age diversity in their workforce because most said that age-bias wasn’t a problem.  – The Global Recruiter, 3 March 2021

  • Larger share of senior citizens in India’s villages work compared to urban counterparts

    The proportion of working senior citizens (age 60 and above) was higher in the villages of India than in the cities, found the first Longitudinal Ageing Survey of India (LASI) released in January, 2021.

    The survey conducted in 2017-18 on over 70,000 individuals above the age of 45 years found that 40 per cent senior citizens in rural areas were working compared to 26 per cent in urban areas. Around 50% of male senior citizens were working compared to 22% women.  Down to Earth, 3 March 2021

  • Plan to delay retirement age must give workers peace of mind

    Vice-Minister of Human Resources and Social Security You Jun said at a news conference on Friday that the ministry is working with relevant departments to draw up a plan for delaying retirement, and it will widely solicit opinions so as to make it as acceptable as possible to all. The question now is no longer whether to delay retirement, but how to increase the retirement age in a gradual way and how to coordinate the interests of different groups and generations in the plan.  China Daily Global, 1 March 2021