Latest news from around the world on mature workers for May 2020.
Guidelines say workers who fall into vulnerable categories shouldn’t return to work until phase three. Employers reopening businesses face a dilemma with older workers: Follow health guidance against using employees at high risk for COVID-19, or heed age discrimination laws. It’s a Catch-22 that has lawyers ready to pounce. – Washington Times, 26 May 2020
Employers have access to more talent than ever before, with 36 million people on unemployment. But when applicants across five generations are pitching for the same jobs, how can hiring managers ensure age equity? – F0rbes, 26 May 2020
Enrolments in Victorian TAFE courses made free by the state government have almost doubled in the past year, led by a 118 per cent surge in female students. New government data to be released on Tuesday shows its $172 million free TAFE roll-out in high-demand professions also triggered a doubling in enrolments among mature-aged and previously unemployed students. – The Age, 25 May 2020
When a recent ad appeared on LinkedIn for an immediate need, it included a limit on experience. According to two employment attorneys, that’s a red flag that could result in an age bias complaint and subsequent litigation. – Forbes, 24 May 2020
Women 55 and older who lose their jobs in the pandemic face greater risk of long-term unemployment (USA)
The pandemic has pushed millions of people out of their jobs. One demographic that has been especially hard hit is women 55 and older. – Washington Post, 23 May 2020
Some 41 million Americans ages 18 to 64 are at risk for serious complications from COVID-19 due to underlying conditions such as diabetes, uncontrolled asthma and heart disease, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. Also at risk are Americans 65 and older, about 10.4 million of whom remain in the workforce — an age group that accounts for 80% of U.S. COVID deaths. – LA Times, 22 May 2020
What annoys each generation the most about the other? A new study tells all. “OK, Boomer” may be the mantra of many in the younger generations, but Boomers have their own grievances against the Millennials. A recent study from Olivet Nazarene University reveals significant rifts in the workplace between America’s two largest generational cohorts. – Forbes, 21 May 2020
Mature workers bring with them well-developed soft skills, which translate to strong work production in remote environments. – HR Dive, 18 May 2020
“The ‘working longer agenda’ has become more urgent, but also more difficult,” London Business School economics professor Andrew Scott said. Getting hired after 50 is normally difficult, due to age discrimination by employers. Add to that fears by hiring managers that older applicants could contract the coronavirus due to their age (making them potentially unable to work and an added health-insurance cost) and, Scott said, “the labor market is going to be a tough place for older workers.” – Forbes, 19 May 2020
London has cemented its position as the world’s biggest centre for commercial insurance through a focus on specialist risks but its workforce is ageing and the sector needs to attract young people, a report said on Tuesday. – Reuters, 19 May 2020
New figures show there are 10,050,000 over 50s in employment, the equivalent of the population of Sweden. Greater support is needed for the UK’s growing older workforce, as figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show for the first time there are more than 10 million people aged over 50 in employment. – The World News, 19 May 2020
During crises like the pandemic, older workers are usually the first to be dropped from the payroll. The coronavirus epidemic could stymie to efforts to keep older workers on payrolls until retirement and to get jobless seniors into the workforce. According to Jari Kannisto, a development manager at the Finnish Centre for Pensions, the crisis has already led to a rise in the number of pension applications, particularly attempts to go on partial early retirement. – Uutiset, 18 May 2020
A new Data Visualization tool for understanding the issues around ageing workforce. The European Commission together with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) have designed a visualisation tool to allow easy and quick access to the results of its three-year project “Safer and healthier work at any age — occupational safety and health (OSH) in the context of an ageing workforce”. – European Connected Health Alliance, 18 May 2020
Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist at the New School, sees the Covid-19 recession setting older workers further back than the 2008 financial crisis. CNBC spoke with Ghilarducci about why older Americans are particularly vulnerable to this recession, and what the pandemic’s fallout has revealed to us about the risks of our current retirement system. “There’s the sense that older workers don’t have the skills or potential that younger workers have and, in most cases, that’s an irrational, discriminatory prejudice. But in this recession, caused by the pandemic, there may be a rational basis for the age discrimination.” – NBC, 16 May 2020
With all the talk around redundancies and failing businesses, there’s a narrative developing around the older workforce. Economists Shamubeel Eaqub and Tony Alexander have been arguing over 65-year-olds should choose to resign to make way for others. However, New Zealand has an ageing workforce, and some will be caught up in redundancies against their will. Business Doctor Craig Garner joined Heather du Plessis-Allan to discuss how businesses can move forward with an aging workforce. (Podcast) – Newstalk ZB, 13 May 2020
Currently, one in five British workers is over the age of 50, and the percentage of workers aged 65+ is set to double over the next decade. This week’s episode of Talking Work and Health discusses the implications of an ageing workforce for businesses. – Health Management (UK)
Opinion: there are many barriers facing older workers in the workforce, but there are also many benefits to employing them. The Irish perspective. – RTE, 12 May 2020
The unemployment rate has skyrocketed in the last couple of months, up to 14.7% in April from 3.6% in January, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show. Some workers have fared worse than others, including those near retirement.
Americans 55 years and older had an unemployment rate of 13.6% in April, up from 2.6% in January. Men 55 and older had an unemployment rate of 12.1% in April, compared with 2.6% in January, and women in the same age group had a rate of 15.5% versus 2.4% during the same time frame, according to the BLS data. – MarketWatch, 8 Mary 2020
With the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) administration deciding against deploying Class-IV healthcare staffers aged over 50 years as well as those suffering from different ailments on frontline duties, the hospital is left with very few of the total Class-IV staffers. Those ageing above 50 years of age are considered to be prone to getting infected with Covid-19. – Times of India, 3 May 2020
More than 30 million Americans—about one-sixth of the U.S. workforce—have now been laid off in the last six shattering weeks. One in six. It’s almost impossible to grasp such a mind-numbing figure. And while layoffs have hit both younger and older workers, it’s a good bet that when the economy begins to reopen and Americans go back to work, older workers—age 50 and over—will be last in line. – MarketWatch, 2 May 2020
Ageism has been quietly pervasive in American culture for decades, according to those who work with and study the health of seniors. But they fear that this particular form of discrimination has become magnified during the pandemic as those who have lost income and stability look for someone to blame. – LA Times, 1 May 2020
Dementia and cognitive decline is becoming a growing issue in the workplace, along with a range of other workplace health challenges, as our working population ages. Between tackling the challenges of rising rates diabetes, men’s ill health, drugs and alcohol, and working-age dementia, occupational health practitioners are going to have their work cut out over the coming years, the Royal College of Nursing and SOM occupational health conference heard recently. – Personnel Today, 1 May 2020
Diversity Works New Zealand Chief Executive Maretha Smit, says businesses who have relied on immigration to fill labour and skills shortages will have to look at different ways to bolster their workforce. “We would like to see New Zealand organisations more engaged with the older generation in the workforce,” said Smit. – HR Director, 5 May 2020
With the number of migrants to New Zealand likely to significantly reduce in the next few years, employers will have to look to other diverse groups in our workforce to ensure their business thrives. – Scoop, 4 May 2020
A look at the present and future age divide for working from home.
A study from the progressive Economic Policy Institute (EPI) think tank suggests that people 65+ are the least able to work remotely. Several studies show workers least able to work from home are less likely to have a college degree and more likely to earn low wages without benefits. The telework difference seems widest among experienced workers (sometimes called “seasoned” workers, sometimes called older workers), making them more economically vulnerable to the coronavirus than their younger peers. – Next Avenue, 1 May 2020
Nearly three-fourths of workers age 65 and older—or over 5 million older workers—are unable to telecommute. That means that these workers, who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 because of their age, could be putting themselves at risk to earn a paycheck.
Policymakers can mitigate the damage from workplace exposure to the coronavirus afflicting older and other highly vulnerable people by designing unemployment insurance and paid sick days measures to protect workers who are vulnerable themselves or who have vulnerable family members. – Economic Policy Institute, 1 May 2020