Editor’s picks

Latest news from around the world on mature workers for February 2020.

  • Not justified – ET hands down ruling on university’s compulsory retirement age (UK)

    In its recent ruling in the case of Ewart v. The University of Oxford, the Employment Tribunal (ET) found that Oxford University (the University) acted unlawfully in dismissing Professor Paul Ewart under its employer justified retirement age policy (EJRA). The EJRA, under which staff at senior grades must retire in the September before they turn 68, was introduced in 2011 with the stated aim of bringing younger and more diverse staff into the University.  – Lexology, 27 February 2020

  • Silicon Valley Ageism Prompting Increase In Men Seeking Cosmetic Procedures (USA)

    “If you look at Facebook, Apple, Google … the average age is 30,” said Dr. Larry Fan, a highly sought-after plastic surgeon in San Francisco. Because of this, Fan says the number of men in the tech industry coming to see him for cosmetic procedures is on the rise. His clients get everything from Botox to filler injections and micro-needling, to more invasive surgeries like chin lifts and liposuction. They are doing it in hopes of competing with their younger counterparts.  – CBS, 26 February 2020

  • Row Over Retirement Age Expected To Dominate Internal Uni Fiji Discussions

    Several key professors and other senior academics are likely to lose their jobs if 65 years is set as the retirement age. Some of them are already over 70 so they would be the first to go.  – Fiji Sun, 24 February 2020

  • Budget 2020 Roundtable: Do more to change employers’ mindsets on older workers (Singapore)

    Continual upskilling will be needed for Singapore’s greying workforce to stay competitive, and some measures announced in the Budget will help, experts at a recent roundtable said.

    Labour MP Patrick Tay said he was glad to see measures such as grants to encourage companies to adopt higher retirement and re-employment ages ahead of legislative change.  – Straits Times, 23 February 2020

  • The UN and AARP Team Up for Age-Diverse Workforces

    How experts made the case at a global aging briefing

    When I saw the invitation from the United Nations and AARP to attend their age-diverse workforce briefing, that got my attention. But when I heard their speakers at the UN make the business case for “earning longer,” that got me energized.  – Next Avenue, 23 February 2020

  • What do the world’s most successful people do when it’s time to retire?

    When Thomas Schreier Jr. graduated from the University of Notre Dame more than three decades ago, he never envisioned that in his late 50s he’d be teaching a class there called Designing an Inspired Life and regularly walking the South Bend, Ind., campus as the founding director of the university’s Inspired Leadership Initiative.

    The initiative, now in its second year, consists of 15 accomplished individuals who have wrapped up two or three decades in successful careers and are eager to devote an academic year to studies at Notre Dame. They can audit classes, attend lectures, work on projects with undergraduates, and travel internationally to Notre Dame’s global hubs, while they reflect on what’s next. For the 2020-21 academic year, the plan is to ramp enrollment up to 25 fellows.  – Market Watch, 22 February 2020

  • Preparing for Waves of Retiring Employees

    As aging Baby Boomers retire in large numbers, employers are seeing decades—if not centuries—of cumulative knowledge and skills walk out the door. If they have not prepared for those departures, organizations could end up with critical gaps in their talent and knowledge bases.

    To protect themselves, employers need to monitor the state of the workforce and predict when workers may retire, both those who may retire soon and those whose retirements are farther in the future.   – SHRM, 19 February 2020

  • Anthony Albanese cites his mother with promise to ‘make a difference’ for older Australians

    Anthony Albanese has invoked his mother as the inspiration for Labor’s latest policy reset, declaring older Australians need to be seen as a boon to the budget, rather than a burden.

    In his fourth “vision statement” since taking up the Labor leadership, Albanese pledges to develop a “positive ageing strategy”, with a focus on building superannuation, reshaping cities, increasing employment opportunities and boosting healthcare.  – The Guardian, 19 February 2020

  • What Could Improve Women’s Retirement Outlook (USA)

    There’s bad news and so-so news about the retirement insecurity of American female workers in the new Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2019. But the good news is that if employers, the U.S. government, financial advisers and those workers take a few key steps, today’s cloudy retirement prospects for women could become sunnier.  – Next Avenue, 19 February 2020

  • Dealing with the demographics of the workforce (UK)

    The changing demographics within the workforce present challenges businesses must consider and address, or otherwise risk skills gaps as valued colleagues reach the end of their careers without the trained people available to replace them. That will impact productivity in the long-run, requiring companies to take steps now to ‘future proof’ themselves against the consequences of changes in the labour market. The solutions to these challenges can be found in encouraging more young people to enter the workforce. This means promoting the opportunities vocational training presents and addressing the issues that make businesses less willing to take on apprentices. It also means ensuring the availability of skills development and lifelong learning for existing staff and that companies consider how they can develop their culture and people policies to retain talented personnel.  – HR Director, 19 February 2020

  • US government sues Yale’s teaching hospital for age discrimination in testing older doctors

    The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is suing Yale New Haven Hospital over its policy of requiring doctors aged over 70 to undergo a neuropsychological screening evaluation and basic ophthalmologic examination.

    Because such tests are demanded only of older doctors, the EEOC argues in its lawsuit, Yale’s “late career practitioner policy” breaches the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.  – BMJ 2020; 368 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m639 (Published 18 February 2020)

  • Labor’s plan to turn government’s ‘time bomb’ into an economic opportunity

    Employers will be urged to hire more Australians over the age of 45 to ensure fairness for older workers, in a major statement from Labor on new ways to expand the economy as the population ages.

    Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese will also outline policy ambitions to retrain older Australians who lose their jobs, citing research that claims a $33 billion economic boost from getting more of these workers into jobs.  – Brisbane Times, 18 February 2020

  • How Japan and Singapore are reinventing old age

    A new demographic dividend – the “longevity dividend” – is emerging as populations age;  Singapore, one of the most rapidly ageing populations in the world, and Japan, where around 25% of the population is older than 65, are already responding to this demographic shift and benefit from it; From innovative retirement income and care programmes, Japan and Singapore’s governments are already seeing positive results.  – World Economic Forum, 18 February 2020

  • Not focused on your experienced workforce? You should be (Australia)

    Quoting from the 2015 Intergenerational Report and data from the Parliamentary Budget Office, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s recent remarks that older Australians will need to retrain in order to stay employed and work for longer to be less of a “burden” on the budget was a bitter pill for many to swallow.

    While forecasts and facts can’t be ignored, the focus must be on how we respond as a society.

    Rather than continuing to perpetuate negative and ageist notions of a greying population as being an “economic time bomb”, we need to shift our attention to the genuine opportunities that exist, and are emerging.  – The New Daily, 14 February 2020

  • Age biggest barrier to career progression, survey finds (UK)

    Age is the “number one barrier” to job opportunities in the UK, above gender, ethnicity or educational background, according to research by LinkedIn. The survey, which polled more than 2,000 individuals in the UK as part of a wider global study, found many in the UK believed their age to be problematic when looking for a more stable job or changing career.

    But experts warn against singling out just one characteristic such as age, gender or ethnicity when tackling disadvantage at work.   – People Management, 13 February 2020

  • Age discrimination is Australia’s biggest barrier to opportunity: Report

    With older Australians still processing Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s advice to learn new skills and delay retirement, a new report adds to the mounting evidence of an Australian ageism crisis.

    Conducted by professional networking site, LinkedIn, the survey of 1025 Australians revealed just under one in two baby boomers (44 per cent) believe their age is the main reason for employers rejecting their job applications.  – The New Daily, 12 February 2020

  • How Monopsony Impacts Older Women Workers

    Employers in an anti-competitive labor market will have power over workers to suppress their pay and to dictate the quality of their working conditions. Research shows that big firms that dominate labor markets, leaving workers no practical choice other than to accept their job offers, tend to pay workers less than they would have in dynamic markets. This phenomenon, called “monopsony,” has gained a lot of attention recently (Manning, 2003; Bahn, 2018).

    Economists can predict which labor markets are more likely to have monopsonies. Individual employers have more wage-setting power to exploit the situation and pay less where workers have different preferences for the amount of time they work, have spotty and incomplete information about jobs and employers, and face high moving and relocation costs. Older women workers may be subject to a disproportionate amount of monopsony power compared to other workers for several reasons.  – Washington Center for Equitable Growth, 12 February 2020

  • Proposal for 15 per cent super is pie in the sky

    Daniel Andrews’ Labor government wants the super guarantee to eventually rise to 15 per cent, for super to be paid on Commonwealth parental leave and for the rules to change to allow employers to pay women higher super than their male colleagues.

    The gender super gap is a real problem and studies have shown the most vulnerable in retirement are single women who don’t own their own home.  – Sydney Morning Herald, 12 February 2020

  • Europe’s demographic crisis: How to get older workers back into the labour market

    The European Social Fund is Europe’s main instrument for supporting jobs, helping people get better jobs and ensuring fairer job opportunities.  – Euronews, 12 February 2020

  • Lawyer denied job for being ‘expensive’ wins age discrimination case (UK)

    Tribunal rules solicitor was not offered the position because of his age and experience despite being the only person interviewed. … The tribunal ruled that “expensive” was in fact “synonymous with his being an experienced and older solicitor”, and that the firm changed the job requirements to suit a more junior solicitor after it had deemed Levy unsuitable.  – People Management, 12 February 2020

  • How to Navigate Your Most Dangerous Decade

    Losing a job is almost always traumatic. In your 50s, job loss can be devastating — and devastatingly common.

    More than half the workers who entered their 50s with stable, full-time jobs were laid off or pushed out at least once by age 65, according to an analysis of employment data from 1990 to 2016 by the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica and the Urban Institute, a nonprofit think tank. Only 10% of those who lost a job ever found another that paid as much, and most never recovered financially.  – The New York Times, 10 February 2020

  • Job hunting after 50: How women can plot their ‘comeback careers’

    The inspiration for Mika Brzezinski’s new book, co-written with her sister-in-law, Ginny Brzezinski, started with an exasperated text. The authors told NBC News’ Stephanie Ruhle that they wrote the book after Ginny Brzezinski texted her sister-in-law looking for some advice. “I had been hit by my kids leaving for college. I just turned 50, I was in a job I wasn’t happy with and I just thought ‘I’ve got to find something new to do for the next 20 years but I don’t know how. What does that look like when you’re in your fifties?’”  – NBC News, 11 February 2020

  • The Grandparents of Academe. An appreciation

    The other day I was communicating with a colleague at my school. In the course of our discussion, she mentioned that she is now a grandmother.

    This is a colleague whom I greatly respect. She is wicked smart and unfailingly modest. She is a colleague that I reach out to when I need to connect with someone who knows how to navigate the culture and structures of the institution to get things done.  – Inside Higher Ed, 9 February 2020

  • With age comes fewer raises: Here’s why many older Americans aren’t seeing higher pay

    The older Americans get, the worse their wages look. Half of younger baby boomers between the ages of 55 and 64 — Lond’s cohort — didn’t get a pay increase over the past 12 months, according to Bankrate’s December survey. Those between the ages of 65 and 73 were even worse off, with nearly three in five not seeing an increase in pay, the worst of any age group, the survey found.  – Bankrate, 4 February 2020

  • Absorbing the elderly in the workforce (Philippines)

    Job opportunities for the elderly may not be a problem anymore if the Cebu City Council approves the draft legislation providing for the employment of senior citizens in private firms.

    In its regular session on Jan. 28, 2020, the council approved on first reading the proposed ordinance requiring business establishments to employ senior citizens under the Food-for-Work program and providing tax incentives.  – Sunstar, 3 February 2020

  • Yale researchers find ageism is literally hurting older people all over the world

    Being the victim of age discrimination in the office can take a toll. Past research found that one in five US workers over the age of 40 has experienced age discrimination at work. Falling victim to ageism not only harms older workers from being able to acquire new work, but it also had nearly three-fourths of US workers age 50 and older believing their own age is a disadvantage when looking for work.

    But ageism isn’t exclusively found in the US — it’s become a global phenomenon with harmful consequences, according to a new study conducted by Yale University.  – The Ladders, 3 February 2020