Editor’s picks

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

  • Why We Need To Talk About Age And Aging In The Workplace

    No matter what dimension of diversity is discussed, there are layers of complexity. Ageism is no exception. Unfortunately, the complexities around age and aging in the workplace are not being addressed, resulting in continued mismanagement of talent, decreasing employee belonging and discrimination.  Forbes 31 October 2021

  • Age discrimination is a problem. Botox isn’t the solution

    Even as companies struggle to hire amid labor shortages and the so-called Great Resignation, older workers are having trouble finding jobs. Particularly women.

    Sixty-nine percent of female workers over 40-years-old, who were unemployed in June, were out of work for more than six months, according to a survey released by AARP last week. One reason? Age discrimination. Thirty-one percent of women who’ve looked for a job since turning 40 said age discrimination was an impediment, according to the survey.  Fortune 28 October 2021

  • The Use Of Artificial Intelligence In Business Codifies Gendered Ageism. How Do We Fix It?

    How can we use technology to affect positive change for older women in the workplace? Companies must examine all HR processes and understand the disparate impact and exclusion that might happen as a result of poorly designed processes or poorly executed policies. This is great news because there is plenty of data now to do this examination. There are also many technical solutions to address the downsides.  Forbes 25 October 2021

  • ‘Really angry’: Job interview comments that changed Louise’s life (Australia)

    Louise Di Francesco has summited Kilimanjaro and Everest base camp, sold two PR companies and worked in journalism for 14 years.

    So when, in her 50s, she was told by a recruiter that her lipstick was too bright, her perfume too strong and she was dressed inappropriately, her first reaction was to laugh.  Yahoo Finance 25 October 2021

  • The ageing conundrum

    As Malaysia struggles to exit the middle-income trap, the country has to juggle a shrinking population that is also ageing earlier than previously expected. To put it simply, Malaysia is getting old before it gets rich.  The Star 23 October 2021

  • The case for a diverse workforce

    Our percentage of team members aged 60-plus has increased significantly over the past six years. This is not because of our staff are ageing in place but rather as a proactive approach to engaging with more mature aged workers across many disciplines. Age is not a barrier to competency. Indeed, one of our leading care workers is just getting started at 82 years of age. Australian Ageing Agenda 22 October 2021

  • Please stop using these common ageist phrases

    Ageism isn’t always obvious discrimination. Sometimes it’s a small comment that subtly perpetuates the idea that “old” is code for “bad.”  Even the most well-intentioned comments can turn out to be ageist microaggressions. Below are common phrases that often do more harm than good when it comes to addressing someone’s age. LifeHacker Australia 22 October 2021

  • Haulage industry facing Brexit and ageism issues… for a start (Ireland)

    Earlier this week, an Office for National Statistics (ONS) report underlined the issues facing the haulage industry, including an ageing workforce, a shortage of EU nationals, and mounting costs and red tape in the wake of Brexit. The ONS said there were nearly a third fewer (29%) lorry drivers working in the UK aged between 46 and 54 than in the year to June 2017, with a 34,000 drop.  Belfast Telegraph 21 October 2021

  • How to support employees facing the menopause (UK)

    Menopause is becoming a more frequent topic of conversation in the workplace as part of wellbeing strategies and also under diversity, equity and inclusion policies. With some high-profile celebrities raising the issues, society is beginning to recognise the need for more open conversations surrounding the menopause, and employers are increasingly expected to have policies in place to provide support.  The HR Director 20 October 2021

  • Is It Back To The 1950s For The Job Market?

    Child and elder care will become an increasingly important reason why one partner may not want to work outside the home. And as wages continue to rise as the labor market stays tight, the ability of one partner’s income to support the family will rise, making the incentive for both partners to work even weaker.  Forbes 20 October 2021

  • Study Shows Automation Accelerates in Older Demographic

    Robots turn out taking over jobs fastest around the world in places where their human counterparts are ageing the most rapidly. This is the conclusion of a new study by MIT researchers that shows robots are more widely adopted where populations become notably older, filling the gaps in an ageing industrial workforce. The research also showed age alone accounted for 35% of the variation between countries in their adoption of robots, with those having older workers far more likely to adopt the machines.  OpenGov 11 October 2021

  • Hong Kong Smart Ageing Survey: Sandwich Generation Needs Support

    The survey report covers multiple areas, including financial planning, health and medical care, technology, and social engagement which the Golden Age generation needs to pay attention to. According to the data from the Census and Statistics Department in mid-2021, the population aged 45-65 has reached 2.34 million, accounting for 31.6% of the total population. This group of people has become the so-called “Sandwich Generation”.  Mirage News 11 October 2021

  • The Australian Seniors Series: Ageing in the Workforce 2021

    The Ageing in the Workforce 2021 report forms part of the Australian Seniors Series, which explores the subject matters most important to our senior community. Surveying 5,000 Australians over 50, this in-depth study explores the current experiences of seniors in the Australian workforce, the impact of COVID-19, how they feel about retirement and how they are taking control of their careers.  Australian Seniors 1 October 2021

  • Burnout and confidence are real concerns for women on path to achieving their ambitions

    Other perceived hurdles that women believe will get in the way of them achieving their ambitions include different forms of caring responsibilities, as well as discrimination. A massive 30% of women believe age discrimination will stand in the way of them achieving their dreams, while 25% of women say gender discrimination will get in the way. Concerns about race discrimination and pregnancy discrimination were also highlighted.  Women’s Agenda 8 October 2021

  • Blurred Lines In A Multigenerational, Hybrid Workforce

    Throughout the years, there has been much debate on effectively managing the various generations in the workplace. Unfortunately, much of the discussion is rooted in stereotypes about communication styles, personal values, work ethics and technological abilities, resulting in certain assumptions about supervising such a diverse group. Although the relevancy of segmenting the workforce in such a way has diminished in favor of a more individualistic focus, the pandemic may have reinstated old habits.

    As managers refine their hybrid leadership abilities, five areas that have proven crucial in mastering a successful environment include supporting corporate culture, maintaining a flexible mindset, practicing clear communication, setting clear expectations and encouraging cross-generational mentoring.  Forbes 15 October 2021

  • Ageism in Australia on the rise as 20% of employees report encounters with age discrimination

    New research of Australia’s older workers has found that experiences of age discrimination in the workplace have almost doubled in the last five years.
    According to the Australian Seniors Series: Ageing in the Workforce 2021 report, one in five workers (20.7%) aged over 50 has encountered age discrimination in the workplace – twice as many compared to 2016 (9.6%). Just over 40% say they have felt patronised in the workplace because of their age.  Human Resources Director Australia 9 October 2021

  • “The constant juggle is overwhelming.” What it’s really like to be in the ‘sandwich generation’. (Australia)

    “Can you take me to the shops?”

    “I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, I need a lift.”

    “I have work, can I take the car?”

    If you, like me, are between about 40 and 50 years old, then you are likely to have received some of these messages. That is because we are what they often refer to as the ‘sandwich generation’.   MamaMia 7 October 2021

  • Public school teacher shortage raises fears they will ‘run out of teachers’ (NSW)

    Confidential NSW Department of Education documents warn the state’s public schools are facing an unprecedented staffing crisis and are likely to “run out of teachers in the next five years” as student enrolments grow and the number of teachers falls.

    The documents say the shortage is driven by growing school enrolments, a sharp drop in the number of students signing up to education degrees at university, an ageing workforce – 28 per cent of the department’s teachers are due to reach retirement age by 2024 – and 5 per cent of teachers leaving to do other things each year. The Sydney Morning Herald 7 October 2021

  • New guidance aims to help businesses address disparities between workers (UK)

    The Centre for Ageing Better, alongside the CIPD and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), has today launched a best practice guide to help employers engage with older workers in their recruitment processes.

    The guide recommends firms consider age, which is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act, as part of their inclusion and diversity policies, and calls on companies to regularly collect and scrutinise age data from the recruitment process. People Management 6 October 2021

  • N.J. workers who are 70-plus years old now have new protection from age discrimination (USA)

    New Jersey workers age 70 and older can’t be forced out of a job simply because of their age under a new law Gov. Phil Murphy signed Tuesday. The law closes a loophole that requires some government workers in the state to retire once they hit a certain age and also amended current law to give older employees protection from being let go because of their age.  NJ.com 5 October 2021

  • ‘Unretirement’ sees retirees rejoin the workforce

    Sydney retirees who rent will need more than $1 million in super savings assuming they enjoy reasonable health, ASFA figures found. Financial needs are forcing retirees back into the market as there is a growing trend for “unretirement”, according to AustralianSuper. Research by the super fund in association with WorkSafe Victoria, entitled ‘Unretirement: Transition Pathways in Retirement’, found there were 169,000 Australians who had previously retired from the labour force but were planning to look for or take up work in the future. Some 42% of these people did so because of ‘financial needs’ while others said they ‘needed something to do’, the second most-common reason.  Money Management 5 October 2021

  • Ageism really is rampant in the workplace: new report tells us truth (Australia)

    A recent report by the Human Rights Commission and another by Australian Seniors has told us something we already knew informally, that ageism is rampant in Australian workplaces, with an alarming number experiencing it first hand. And finally, after many people have called it out, the data is here to prove it.  Starts at 60 4 October 2021

  • Age discrimination impacts job prospects of millions of over 50s (UK)

    A total of 2.99 million recent job seekers over 50 (52 percent) believe their age has made employers less likely to hire them, according to a new report from Legal & General Retail Retirement (LGRR) and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).

    The ‘Working Late: Over 50s and employment’ report (full report available later this year) claims that 46 percent of job seekers aged 50 – 59, and 64 percent of job seekers aged 60 – 69 felt their age put them at a significant disadvantage when looking for jobs. These findings come during the ninth annual National Inclusion Week, designed to celebrate everyday inclusion in all its forms.  Workplace Insight 1 October 2021

  • Pandemic exposes ageism and age discrimination in society, says UN expert

    On the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons on 1 October, Claudia Mahler, the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, calls for urgent action against ageism and age discrimination. She issues the following statement …  United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights 1 October 2021

  • Ageing workforce facing discrimination even as demand for carers rises (Australia)

    Older Australians are being locked out of the workforce despite growing need for their services, according to a range of recent research.

    As concerns grow about a shortage of direct care workers, the Council of the Ageing (COTA) on Friday welcomed a new federal government advisory body, called the Council of Elders, to consult on care reform. It will consult with government on the delivery of new aged care funding after a royal commission exposed dire staff shortages across the sector.

    The announcement coincided with the international day of older persons and Australia’s first ageism awareness day, which is sounding the alarm on barriers facing older people and their participation in the jobs market. Advocates say older workers can be redeployed to address shortages in aged care, but they’re facing widespread discrimination from employers.  The New Daily 1 October 2021

  • Why it’s time to talk about menopause at work (Australia)

    Conversations about the ageing workforce have tended to overlook how ageing is experienced differently across genders, but that labour market dynamics will force a change. More employers are now starting to see that supporting women through menopause benefits not only their staff members, but the bottom line as well.   In The Black 1 October 2021

  • Sport sector study reveals gender pay gaps, ageing workforce (NZ)

    A new study on sports organisations across New Zealand has revealed a gender pay gap that’s unfavourable to women, as males dominate governance roles.  …Meanwhile, the study also revealed an ageing workforce, with the sector “over-represented by ages 35 to 54.”  Human Resources Director NZ 1 October 2021

  • AustralianSuper calls for fresh retirement thinking

    October 1 is International Day for Older Persons and $200 billion AustralianSuper marked the occasion by releasing a white paper developed with WorkSafe Victoria and Transitioning Well.

    The white paper reported that retirement is shifting from what it once was, with many staying on as consultants or entering a new field in older age. It includes a series of tools that employers can use to assist those transitioning to retirement or to engage with older employees.  Financial Standard 1 October 2021