Latest news from around the world on mature workers for May 2021.
Australian visas should go to younger skilled migrants and we should pay them more, Grattan Institute says
Think tank the Grattan Institute and others are calling for a revamp of Australia’s skilled migration program. The report suggests that post-COVID, Australia should shift from taking older workers with less proficient English to younger and more highly skilled workers. The federal government has launched a parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s skilled migration program, which is due to report back by July. – ABC News, 31 May 2021
‘I nearly died’: Struggle of Aussie single mum ‘surviving on one meal a day’ amid desperate search for work
A 56-year-old South Australian woman has been counting down the days until she is homeless.
Rita Sacchetta, from Munno Para in Northern Adelaide, has been living hand-to-mouth ever since she lost her job in March 2019. Although consistently applying for roles, “I’ve never even gotten to the interview stage,” Rita told 7NEWS.com.au.
She’s not alone. Earlier this week the Australian Council of Social Service warned that single mothers and older women – both of which include Rita – are continually being left behind. And the COVID-19 crisis has made it worse. – 7News.com.au 31 May 2021
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Age discrimination cases rise sharply at tribunals (UK)
The number of age discrimination complaints to employment tribunals increased by 74% in the past year, new research has suggested. According to Rest Less, a website “community” for people over-50, the number of receipts under age discrimination in employment tribunals reached 3,668 in 2020, up from 2,112 in 2019. – Personnel Today, 31 May 2021
How Many Years Do You Have to Work Before You Retire?
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a scientific age of retirement? We could just announce how many years people should work before they get decent pensions. … Having a target work life for the average nation’s citizens would be quite convenient. Being able to say, “people should work, say, 40 years” and base that work-life number on science rather than politics or economic struggle would make ordinary people’s, employers’, and policy-makers’ jobs easier. – Forbes 28 May 2021
South Korea crosses a population rubicon in warning to the world
A new two-track approach still seeks to encourage more births to ensure a future workforce that is sizeable enough to sustain its pension system, but there is increased attention on encouraging women and seniors to stay in the labour force or open new businesses. The government has proposed easing strict immigration regulations to bring in more foreign workers, including engineers needed to keep companies such as Samsung Electronics feeding the world’s voracious demand for computer chips. – The Straits Times, 26 May 2021
Deloitte’s case management ‘bizarre’: Federal Court
A Federal Court judge has slammed delays by big four consultancy Deloitte in producing evidence in a landmark age discrimination case as “bizarre” and not “sensible”. – Australian Financial Review, 26 May 2021
University of Liverpool staff begin strike over job losses (UK)
About 1,300 staff at the University of Liverpool have begun a three-week strike in protest at job cuts. They are protesting against plans announced in January to cut 32 roles at the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. The University and College Union said “the criteria for sacking staff is fundamentally flawed” and “there is evidence of age discrimination”. – BBC News, 25 May 2021
Preparing the older brain for workforce re-entry
As we begin to emerge globally from economic downturn caused by COVID-19, it looks as though many older workers displaced by the pandemic may soon be heading back to work, which raises the question of how to prepare for workplace re-entry. – Hospital Health Care, 25 May 2021
COTA NSW Webinar – Financial Security for Single Older Women Without Children
Women are much more likely than men to retire into poverty. However, despite 16% of women not having children, the focus of research into this issue is largely on the impacts of motherhood on retirement earnings. COTA NSW hosted a webinar to discuss a recent research report into financial security for single older women without children. – Council On The Ageing, 24 May 2021
How can we best engage older workers in reskilling efforts?
Investing in retraining, reskilling and upskilling improves employability of all workers throughout their lives. Access to these opportunities ensures full participation of all workers for a thriving economy and health of the population. There are several misconceptions regarding the contributions and continued employment of older workers. Age is not the only factor influencing workforce participation; advances in technology and changing structures impacts all workers regardless of age. – World Economic Forum, 20 May 2021
Former KPMG’er says job market is rife with age discrimination
Navy veteran Nic Winterson has claimed the Australian job market is rife with age discrimination, with a previous leadership stint at KPMG still not enough to land the 53 year-old an interview.
A former Forensics Services Director for KPMG Australia has claimed no one will give him a job due to age discrimination. Earlier this week, Winterson went public following his frustration at not landing a single interview from 237 job applications submitted over the past year and a half. Coincidentally, the public outburst comes just one month after KPMG dropped its controversial retirement age of 58. – Consultancy.com.au, 19 May 2021
Shanghai bets on better educated workforce to ease ageing woes in China’s premier commercial hub
A highly educated population would cushion a decline in the labour force, said the city’s statistics bureau director Zhu Min. The city is now offering incentives such as affordable housing or cash awards to global talent. – South China Morning Post, 18 May 2021
Age discrimination ranks top in Funds Europe/Caceis D&I survey
Age discrimination is likely to be the most targeted diversity & inclusion (D&I) issue for the funds industry, research carried out by Funds Europe suggests. – Funds Europe, 18 May 2021
Ageism: how age discrimination can be fought in society and the workplace – but older people have to stop believing the stereotypes first
Ageism should be treated as seriously as other ‘isms’ such as racism and sexism, experts say – it’s not just a social injustice but a threat to the economy. Seniors should be aware of self-directed ageism – that is, stop believing the negative stereotypes of growing old with which they are bombarded. – South China Morning Post, 17 May 2021
The age bracket workforces are beginning to consider ‘older workers’ (Audio)
Employers are increasingly considering middle-aged Australians as ‘older workers’ despite an ageing workforce.
One in five employers classify ‘older workers’ as people aged over 50.
Almost half admitted they’d be reluctant to hire workers after they reach a certain age.
“That’s trouble for me…” Neil Breen said. – 4BC Brisbane, 17 May 2021
For Black workers, age discrimination strikes twice
Age discrimination sounds simple: The oldest workers face the strongest biases. But new research suggests that rule applies primarily to White workers. For Black workers, age discrimination is highest for the youngest, falls in middle age, and rises once more as workers near retirement.
A new experiment at Texas A&M University helps illustrate the surprising pattern, which has not been widely studied but tends to line up with Labor Department data reviewed by The Washington Post: Black workers are typically less likely to be hired than White workers with the same experience, but the gap closes in middle age. – The Washington Post, 15 May 2021
Open hiring is now possible at some employers and can be especially helpful for applicants over 50 (USA)
Age discrimination is deeply ingrained in the job market. Nearly anyone laid off after 50 can tell stories of dismissal, frustration and ageist moments in the hunt for work. Worse yet are the experiences of many older job seekers who are Black, women, or have a high school education or less. But what if you could get a job without showing a résumé or a job interview?
That’s not a pipe dream. A small but important movement is pushing the concept of what’s known as “open hiring.” At employers who use this system, all you have to do to apply for a job is put your name on a sign-up sheet. When a position opens, if you’re next on the list, you’re offered the chance to start work immediately.
The open hiring model ignores age, race, gender and other discriminations. It also offers people sidelined in the economy a chance — including the formerly incarcerated, the homeless and people in recovery. – Next Avenue, 15 May 2021
Ditching ageism and ableism at work could pay dividends (UK)
A new report launched by the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC) highlights how pervasive ageism and ableism in the workplace are still locking far too many people out of work as they age, costing not only individuals but employers and the economy. ILC argues that employers need to urgently tackle ageism at work, ensure better access to training and support employees’ health to remain competitive in the post-pandemic recovery. – Workplace Insight, 14 May 2021
China population: Beijing faces ‘tricky’ reforms to unleash new drivers of growth as workforce ages
China’s working-age population will remain large in the near term, giving the nation time to boost efficiency as its labour force grows older. But over time, Beijing must reform birth restrictions and provide better child care support to incentivize couples to have children, analysts say. – South China Morning Post, 14 May 2021
New report unpacks pervasiveness of ageism, ableism in the workplace (UK)
According to a new report from the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC), employers need to urgently tackle ageism at work, ensure better access to training and support employees’ health to remain competitive in the post-pandemic recovery. – Biz Community, 13 May 2021
Where Will You Be In 2181? (USA)
One woman who stopped practicing law and now consulted for law firms said “I focus more on age discrimination when it comes to women than I do on men. I tend to regard un-dyed gray hair on women like I regard visible tattoos.” Wait, what? Women are told that a male with gray hair is often viewed as possessing “gravitas,” but the same is not true for women. Age discrimination is alive and well and living in hair color. – Above the Law, 13 May 2021
Mixing wisdom and youth is good for everyone, and not just on TV
Annabel Crabb’s series demonstrated powerfully the benefits of intergenerational interactions at the extremes of age and how it has the potential to benefit both parties. It is a lesson that can and should be learned in all workplaces. – The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 May 2021
Strengthening of Age Discrimination Protections Proposed (USA)
A bipartisan bill offered by several leading senators would strengthen protections under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which applies in both the federal government and private sector. The bill is in part to court precedent imposing a higher burden of proof on workers alleging age discrimination than is required of workers alleging other forms of workplace discrimination such as race, sex, national origin or religion. That principle holds that in an age bias complaint the worker must show that discrimination was the deciding factor in an allegedly discriminatory workplace decision, in contrast to other forms of bias in which the worker must show only that discrimination was a part of the decision. – FedWeek, 13 May 2021
The Power of Multigenerational Teams in the Social Sector
How second careers for older adults can help non-profit workplaces age-integrate and benefit from multigenerational mentoring. Done well, organisations looking to add age diversity or start their own age-integrated program can not only increase organizational performance, but also chip away at age bias and increase racial diversity. And by building in flexibility and openness toward new solutions, they can position age-integration initiatives to scale.
Non-profits’ growing interest in older adults moving into roles that take advantage of their talent, perspectives, and experience will likely lead to more age-integrated workplaces. The benefits for older adults new to the sector, the younger adults already in it, and the people they serve are clear. – Stanford Social Innovation Review, 10 May 2021
“You Need Us”: Why Over 50s Need to Be “Old and Bold” to Fight Ageism at Work
How old is “old” at work and why are some employers admitting they are reluctant to hire older workers in spite of Australia facing a skills shortage? We dig into ageism at work and what needs to change with Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson and CEO of Australian HR Institute, Sarah McCann-Bartlett. And ad agency Thinkerbell co-founder Adam Ferrier runs us through his internship program for over 55s. – ABC Australia – This Working Life, 10 May 2021
Column: China’s productivity more important than its ageing populationChina’s latest census has spurred an outpouring of commentary about the impact of a declining and ageing population on the country’s future economic and military power. Results showing the population increasing at its slowest for decades and the average age rising fast have reignited a long-running debate about China “growing old before it grows rich”. China’s future growth and prosperity, as well as its military and diplomatic power, depends on raising productivity and value-added – rather than a cheap labour force and boosting the population. – Reuters, 13 May 2021
Deloitte retirement clause will not prevent partner testimony (Australia)
A policy barring retired Deloitte partners from speaking out in a way that may be “adverse or prejudicial” to the firm will not stop them from testifying in a landmark age discrimination case against the consulting giant. The Federal Court last month ordered at least five past Deloitte partners to produce evidence about the circumstances of their retirement, despite a non-disparagement clause tying a lucrative “retirement payment” to their silence. – Australian Financial Review, 11 May 2021
China population: Beijing urged to act in face of ‘brutal’ facts of slower birth rate, declining workforce
New census data confirms China’s workforce will decline over the next decade, a trend that could weaken long-term productivity, consumer demand and innovation. Experts warn if China does not address its low birth rate it could see a fate similar to Japan, where economic growth slowed as the population declined. – South China Morning Post, 11 May 2021
“You need us”: why over 50s need to be “old and bold” to fight ageism at work (ABC podcast)
How old is “old” at work and why are some employers admitting they are reluctant to hire older workers in spite of Australia facing a skills shortage? We dig into ageism at work and what needs to change with Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson and CEO of Australian HR Institute, Sarah McCann-Bartlett. And ad agency Thinkerbell co-founder Adam Ferrier runs us through his internship program for over 55s. – This Working Life, ABC, 10 May 2021
Older Workers Are Willing and Eager to Learn New Skills (USA)
Two-thirds of older workers are interested in additional job or skills training. They are also interested in future training, particularly at the behest of an employer, even in the midst of a pandemic. Older workers are interested in those skills that are in-demand, including technology, computer skills, professional skills, and licensing. – American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), May 2021
The Need for Employers to Recognize and Reduce Ageism (Canada)
The Canadian population is aging, bringing with it an increasing number of social and economic challenges, including an aging workforce. In her new book, Ageism at Work: Deconstructing Age and Gender in the Discriminating Labour Market, Ellie Berger explores the subjective experiences of older workers in Canada and examines employers’ attitudes towards older workers quantitatively, while also exploring their first-hand accounts about them through qualitative inquiry. In the first of two blog posts, author Ellie Berger discusses some of those first-hand accounts and provides suggestions for employers to help reduce ageism in their organizations. – University of Toronto Press (blog)
What government can do to reduce super gender gap
A key focus of next week’s federal budget is almost certain to be the introduction of new measures to boost the financial wellbeing and security of women in retirement. – Sydney Morning Herald, 4 May 2021
What a Higher Minimum Wage Would Mean for Older Workers (USA)
The popular myth is that it’s almost entirely teenagers who earn the minimum wage. Here’s the reality: many more workers 55 and older earn minimum wages than those 19 and younger — 15% versus 10%. There are about 5 million minimum-wage workers who are 55 and older. – Next Avenue, 4 May 2021
China population: coronavirus pandemic fuels decline in migrant labourers amid fears about ageing workforce
China’s vast workforce of migrant labourers is shrinking and getting older, mirroring a broader trend that is raising fears about a demographic crisis in the world’s second largest economy.
The number of migrant workers in China declined by 5.17 million last year compared to 2019, the first drop since 2008. The fall was largely attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, but experts say the ageing population is a problem too. – South China Morning Post, 3 May 2021
A Son Turned His Mother’s Story Of Workplace Ageism Into A Heart-Warming Documentary With A Message
It’s one week until Mother’s Day, and if you are looking for a way to celebrate, this is it. Sian-Pierre Regis’ documentary Duty Free chronicles the story of his mother, Rebecca Danigelis, who was fired without cause at age 75 from her job as a hotel housekeeper. – Forbes, 2 May 2021