Latest news from around the world on mature workers for March 2020.
Massive layoffs, huge numbers of employees working from home, and companies pivoting to stay in business as a result of COVID-19 are demanding a mindset shift in thinking about older workers. – Fast Company, 31 March 2020
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) recently released its new ‘Guidelines for Shipowners to Avoid Age Discrimination On Board Ships’, touching on subjects such as recruitment, retirement and promotion. ICS director of employment affairs Natalie Shaw discusses key takeaways from the paper and future steps. – Ship Technology, 31 March 2020
Amid the massive upheaval brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, employers need to reevaluate their regulatory and compliance programs and policies, both with an eye toward the letter of the law and the spirit of the times, workplace policy experts caution. For example, a client floated the idea of requiring all workers over the age of 50 to stay at home, given the reports that older people are at greater risk from the virus. It was a well-intentioned idea, but as a workplace policy it was a non-starter. – Employee Benefit News, 25 March 2020
Experts have most actively criticized a proposed labor law for trying to simplify the ways in which an employer can fire employees. Unlike under the current labor code, the employer would be able to fire anyone — except employees who are pregnant or on parental leave — without reason by giving advanced warning and paying compensation.
This simplified firing procedure will allow hidden discrimination to flourish The employer would be able to fire someone for any reason – gender, age, sexual orientation, language, disability – and just pay compensation. – Kyiv Post, 25 March 2020
Employers need to take extra measures to protect these individuals and consider the long-term implications of Covid-19 for an ageing workforce. – People Management, 25 March 2020
“Are you prepared to die for the economy?” I asked my 76-year-old grandmother as she fried an egg this morning. She turned to me as though I’d just asked her to bash herself over the head with her skillet. “No,” she snapped at me, before going back to making breakfast for her and my 79-year-old grandfather. – The Independent, 25 March 2020
As part of plans to reduce its massive wage bill and promote the employment of unemployed teachers, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education is encouraging its ageing workforce to take early retirement. – The Mercury, 24 March 2020
If the Trump administration is successful in arguing that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act applies only when age is the solitary factor in a federal employer’s conduct, the burden of proof for those encountering age discrimination will raise to an even higher level. – The Conversation, 24 March 2020
How do we, as a society, think about later life? And why does it matter? Our review of available evidence for the Centre for Ageing Better reveals the conflicting attitudes towards ageing and older people in the UK, across a number of important societal contexts. Our review recognises that some stereotypes of ageing have a ‘kernel of truth’ and reflect age-related changes. But it also highlights the danger of stereotypes to over exaggerate age differences and dismiss the huge variations between people of the same age. In this guest blog, Ben Steeden and Dr Hannah J Swift at the School of Psychology, University of Kent, write about the UK’s ageist attitudes. – Centre for Ageing Better, 23 March 2020
The founder of Working Daughter points out that it’s not just working parents who are challenged during this unprecedented moment in history. Workers with ageing parents are under tremendous amounts of stress and employers should take notice and action. – Fast Company, 23 March 2020
Five employers have been penalised for placing job advertisements that discriminate against age, or showed preference for a particular age group.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a statement on Friday (March 20) that it has barred these employers from hiring foreign employees and from renewing the work passes of their existing foreign employees for 12 months with immediate effect. – The Straits Times, 20 March 2020
Midlife workers may shift the face of the hospitality industry, as new research reveals industry “boomerangs” could help plug the sector’s labour shortage while also meeting consumer demand for workers over 50. The research, conducted by the UK’s largest hospitality jobs board, Caterer.com, reveals that 2.5 million people over 50 are interested in moving into the hospitality industry while almost half of the population (45%) say they’ve worked in the sector at some point in their lives. The demographic presents a potentially abundant talent pool for hospitality employers – almost a third (30%) of workers over 50 are looking for a career change and when considering career options hospitality is the most popular choice for a career move. – HR News, 20 March 2020
There are “far more” negative stereotypes associated with older people in the workplace than positive ones, which are affecting how these employees see themselves, what they feel they can achieve and the tasks and activities they engage with.
According to a literature review published by the Centre for Ageing Better, older workers are regularly seen as being low-performers, less able to learn and more costly to employ than their younger colleagues. – Personnel Today, 19 March 2020
A South Australian aged care provider has teamed up with the state government and two training services to deliver a new aged traineeship program to mature-aged individuals. The $132,000 Skilling South Australia project will create 15 new traineeships for mature-aged individuals who want to re-skill to work in residential and home aged care roles. – Australian Ageing Agenda, 16 March 2020
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit alleging age discrimination in hiring by paying out $11.625 million, an amount that is not even a blip on the radar screen of a firm that reports annual revenues in excess of $41 billion. – Forbes, 16 March 2020
For the first time in the UK, there are more women aged 60 to 64 in work than not, according to an analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics. Experts describe increase as ‘seismic’ but some warn it may be linked to changes to state pension age. – The Guardian, 16 March 2020
An analysis of figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) by Rest Less showed a 52 per cent rise in over-50s working on zero-hours contracts between 2014 and 2019. The most dramatic increase was among over-65s, with a 75 per cent rise among this age group during this period. Experts say increase is down to the financial and lifestyle benefits offered by this way of working, but warn of risks to pensions and sick pay eligibility. – People Management, 13 March 2020
Research from Aviva shows a third (33 per cent) of UK employers are concerned about ‘retaining skilled staff’ within their organisation closely followed by ‘recruiting the right people’ (32 per cent) when they consider the top issues that face their organisation.
A further one in five (21 per cent) employers said they were concerned about supporting older workers, with almost the same number citing ‘an ageing workforce’ (20 per cent) as a worry for them, like giving staff options around flexible working and access to financial support. – The Global Recruiter, 10 March 2020
Wales has an ageing workforce. By 2022, one in three people of working age in Wales will be age 50 and over. Despite this, 28% of people aged 50-64 years in the UK are not actually in work. To address this issue the Welsh Government is highlighting the valuable contribution older workers bring to businesses across Wales as well as the wider economy, while also encouraging employers to recruit, retain and train their employees who are over the age of 50 through its ‘People Don’t Have a Best Before Date’ campaign. – Wales 24/7, 10 March 2020
Her decision, she says, paved the way for other women to challenged the injustices they experienced but ultimately ended her own career. Nine years on from her tribunal win in 2011, O’Reilly says her only regret is the way the BBC behaved – iNews, 6 March 2020
Eurozone trend growth has declined strongly over the last decade and this is unlikely to change in the 2020s. The main culprit is ageing, which is a double whammy to growth. It not only reduces the growth of the labour force, but is also one of the drivers of the decline in productivity growth, a negative effect that is often overlooked. In this article: The impact of the ageing population on productivity; What can be expected in the coming decade? Mitigating factors? – ING, 4 March 2020
In 2016 the Australian Human Rights Commission released its report, Willing to Work: National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination against Older Australians and Australians with Disability. The Inquiry recommended a range of practical strategies and new systematic monitoring of progress and outcomes, to be underpinned by community education and awareness, supported by accessible information and the removal of policy barriers. We are currently running several projects in the area of older workers, implementing recommendations from the Commission’s Willing to Work report … – Australian Human Rights Commission , 3 March 2020
The University of Kansas has settled an age discrimination lawsuit brought on behalf of a former employee who said he was ousted for raising the alarm that his department was told to fill job openings with mainly young people. – 13WIBW, 3 March 2020