Editor’s picks

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

  • UK fuel crisis: Brexit and Covid are hiding the bigger issue behind lorry driver shortage – an ageing workforce

    The International Longevity Centre-UK said the (Heavy Goods Vehicle) HGV driver shortage was ‘yet another predictable and predicted crisis’. Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic could be hiding the underlying reason for the shortage of lorry drivers – an ageing workforce. HGV drivers have an average age of 53 in the UK, with many looking forward to leaving the sedentary and lonely job, a think tank has said.  iNews 30 September 2021

  • Shut out and overlooked: age discrimination impacts job prospects of 3 million over 50s

    A total of 2.99 million recent job seekers over 50 (52%) 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’1 report found that 46% of job seekers aged 50 – 59, and 64% of job seekers aged 60 – 69 felt their age put them at a significant disadvantage when looking for jobs.  – HR News 30 September 2021

  • Pandemic Costs Older Women Workers Jobs, Income

    Caregiving duties, age discrimination hinder ability of many to make a living, AARP survey finds

    Since the beginning of 2020, 41 percent of women ages 40 to 65 lost job-based income, according to new research that finds that women — particularly women of color — carried heavier burdens as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted workplaces and the American economy.  – AARP 29 September  2021

  • Op-Ed: Pushed to retire and to keep earning, older Americans face a peculiar vise

    The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing recession have hit older workers especially hard. Today’s economy is simultaneously pushing out millions who were counting on their pay checks to survive, while trapping millions of others in jobs because they can’t afford to retire.

    These seemingly contradictory trends are part of a grim forecast for aging Americans. Older workers (defined as 55 and up) increasingly fear they won’t have a job well into their 60s. Even if they are still employed, that uncertainty undermines a person’s ability to negotiate their deserved pay and proper conditions, even after a lifetime of work.  LA Times 27 September 2021

  • EAT rules on University of Oxford retirement age policy

    The UK Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has dismissed two appeals relating to the application of Oxford University’s Employer Justified Retirement Age (EJRA) policy. In December 2019, an employment tribunal found that the university acted unlawfully when it refused a second extension of employment for Professor Paul Ewart, who claimed he was forced to retire from his position as head of atomic and laser physics before his 70th birthday. He brought a claim for unfair dismissal and age discrimination and was awarded almost £30,000 in compensation. Separately, in May 2019, a different tribunal panel ruled against Professor John Pitcher, who taught English at St John’s College in Oxford. Prof Pitcher had claimed that his forced retirement, at age 67 in 2014, was unlawful but the judge found that the university’s EJRA was justified in his case, as it served a social purpose in providing a route up for younger academics.  Personnel Today 28 September 2021

  • Asia-Pacific is world’s most rapidly ageing region, but are we ready?

    Imagine it is the year 2050. In Asia-Pacific, one in four people will be over the age of 60; three times the number of older persons in 2010. With close to 1.3 billion senior citizens in less than 30 years from now, are countries in the region prepared to fully address the needs of older persons so that they age with dignity? … In Asia-Pacific, with more than half of the older population being women, it is crucial to adapt a life-cycle approach to population ageing, grounded in gender equality and human rights.  The Korea Times 28 September 2021

  • Who Pays for Eldercare in the US? Women and the Economy

    The disproportionate pressure unpaid care responsibilities place on women negatively impacts their ability to work paying jobs and has adverse financial consequences. Even though women provide unpaid care to a wide spectrum of individuals, policy conversations around facilitating the employment of women have often primarily centred around alleviating mother’s child caregiving responsibilities. While policies aimed to reduce the barriers that child caregiving has on mothers in the labour force are critical and necessary, solely investing in those policies is not enough to ensure women have equal access to paying jobs. There also needs to be an investment in eldercare; women provide the bulk of the unpaid care for their elderly family members as well.  Counterpunch 14 September 2021

  • 5 Tips to Follow to Upskill Midcareer Workers

    While the shift toward greater automation requires employees with cutting edge technology skills, another skill segment that is growing in demand emphasizes soft skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, relationship building, empathy, coaching and mentoring. These uniquely human capabilities take time to develop and are present in much of the 50-plus segment of the workforce. Due to the high correlation between older workers and soft skills, it’s sensible to build a multigenerational workforce with a culture that facilitates intergenerational learning, knowledge sharing, and mentoring. AARP 17 September 2021

  • Ageism is affecting Australian adults of many ages, new research finds

    Age may be just a number, but the majority of Australians will experience ageism in their lives.

    A report from the Australian Human Rights Commission has found ageism exists across the nation – even if we are not consciously aware of it.   SBS 14 September 2021

  • Why employers should recruit and retain older adults

    Too many of us know someone with a story like this one shared with us from a person in Fitchburg: “I was let go one month shy of my 60th birthday. Worked at my company for 28 years. Some of my colleagues retired early, in their late 50s. They couldn’t take the harassment, pressure, and exhortations to work many overtime hours and wanted to leave on their own terms rather than waiting to be thrown out.”

    This gentleman’s employer viewed age as a liability. Smarter organisations view their employees’ longevity as an asset: Their experience, lower turnover rates, ability to foster higher customer satisfaction, and diverse perspectives are among the crucial contributions older workers offer.  Boston Globe 13 September 2021

  • Is The Biden Administration’s Forthcoming U.S. Digital Corps Program Ageist?

    When Joe Biden officially announced his bid for the Presidency in early 2019, daily media headlines argued that Biden, then 76, was too old for the job. Since turning 78, President Biden has grappled effectively with bipartisan agendas, pandemic recovery and racial tensions. Why, then, propose and promote a program rife with ageism, raising serious issues of bias and discrimination against older workers?  Forbes, 12 September 2021

  • Facebook’s job advert targeting algorithm appears to discriminate on gender and age

    Global Witness said it investigated Facebook’s job ad targeting system for potential bias. Facebook’s job advert targeting system appears to discriminate based on gender and age, the non-profit campaign group has said. Facebook said it was “reviewing the findings” of the investigation.  Yahoo News 10 September 2021

  • Job satisfaction and quality run high among working pensioners

    Two new studies led by researchers at Stockholm University found that Swedish workers in their sixties became more satisfied with their jobs as they aged.

    Older workers in their sixties reported that their working conditions are improving. They reported having more control over their work time and that their jobs had become less dangerous, strenuous and unpleasant. Not only did older workers find that their jobs required less effort as they aged, their jobs also became more rewarding and satisfying.  Stockholm University 8 September 2021

  • 3 Ways That Negative Stereotypes About Aging Become Reality

    Research finds that when people internalize negative stereotypes, they might expect to perform poorly on tasks associated with the stereotype. Stereotypes that portray older adults as unhealthy may reduce motivation to engage in health-promoting behaviour. Replacing negative stereotypes with positive ones may help in some circumstances but is not necessarily the solution.  Psychology Today 10 September 2021

  • Older Workers Sue Eli Lilly for Age Discrimination

    In a lawsuit filed in federal court, two mid-career workers allege pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly discriminated against older job applicants in favour of hiring early career professionals and millennials instead. The litigation could become a nationwide class action lawsuit, which would open eligibility to many older applicants who were rejected in recent years.  AARP 9 September 2021

  • Forced retirement is the forgotten frontier

    The recent case of a nurse who received €85,000 in compensation from the Workplace Relations Commission after being forced to retire at 66 is a timely warning that forcing employees to retire is discriminatory. So what can employers and employees do?  – Irish Times 8 September 2021

  • Working Caregivers’ Worries Over Workplace Return

    AARP surveyed Americans who provide unpaid care to a family member or friend and work part- or full-time to learn about their concerns coming out of the pandemic. Of the national sample of adults polled by phone, 56% say their employer offered new benefits as a result of the pandemic, such as flexible schedules and the ability to work remotely.

    As of July, about half of caregivers (52%) were continuing to work from home at least some of the time and 89% would like that option going forward. Most said it’s been easier to juggle the demands of work and caregiving while not having to commute (49% to a great degree and 40% to some degree), according to the AARP survey.  AARP August 2021