Editor’s picks

News highlights from around the world on mature workers for November 2019.

  • The US fertility rate has dropped for the fourth year in a row, and it might forecast a ‘demographic time bomb’

    The US fertility rate has reached an all time low in decades and fallen for the fourth year in a row. This decrease in babies being born could lead to a “demographic time bomb,” or when a country’s young population falls behind the population of older people, putting a strain on the country’s resources. Other countries dealing with demographic time bombs have experienced its devastating effects, and some have even implemented policies to try to reverse them.  – Business Insider, 30 November 2019

  • Accommodating older workers ‘not hard, just different’

    We are living longer, healthier lives and many of us want to work past 65. And businesses will increasingly be reliant on older workers to fill job vacancies, writes workplace adviser Kim Seeling Smith.

    Treasurer Josh Frydenberg used a recent speech to the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia to argue that our economy can’t support our rapidly ageing population and that we need to undertake training to keep in touch with the jobs market. Unfortunately, that opportunity isn’t open to everyone, because ageism is alive and well in Australia.

    The reasons companies cite (if they cite any) is that they are afraid the over-65s won’t keep up with the pace of change, they will miss work due to injury or illness, they won’t be able to learn as quickly, they won’t be as productive as the young guns and some are even afraid of potential conflicts between generations.

    The real reasons more companies don’t look at older workers are much simpler. They are just not used to doing this and it takes time, money and resources to retrain or re-skill.  – My Business, 28 November 2019

  • Barclays launches action to boost the UK’s workplace skills

    Millions of people of all ages will be able to benefit from free advice and guidance to help boost their career prospects, as Barclays launches a drive to boost workplace skills to meet the needs of the UK economy.   – FE News, 29 November 2019

  • New 60-plus work visa sparks debate over UAE’s retirement age

    Domestic workers will be able to stay beyond 60 – but experts say raising the retirement age across the board could boost the economy

    Raising the retirement age would attract more talented professionals and reflect that people are living and working for longer, industry experts have said.

    This week, the government said domestic workers would be allowed to stay beyond the age of 60.

    The move – part of a wider overhaul of visa rules – brings domestic workers into line with other professions, who are able to stay beyond 60 with year-to-year extensions.

    Although 60 remains the country’s retirement age, there are exceptions. Visa extensions can be an issue and most residents therefore expect their time in the country to come to an end when they enter their sixties.  – The National, UAE, 29 November 2019

  • More carers’ leave may help Australians look after elderly parents and stay in work

    Carers’ advocates are urging a rethink of the way we support middle-aged Australians caring for ageing parents.

    Sydney-based organisation Your Side, which supports older people and their carers, has called for a new type of leave – similar to paid parental leave – to ease the burden on carers and help them stay in the workforce.

    While the details are yet to be fleshed out, the idea has merit and could alleviate some of the problems with our current system, which relies on informal carers, many of whom are stressed and struggling financially.  – The Conversation, 28 November 2019

  • Hays calls for employers to value a more mature workforce

    The average working age is increasing across the globe and as a result, employers should embrace the benefits of a more mature workforce, says recruiting experts Hays.  – The Global Recruiter, 27 November 2019

  • Trump’s Justice Dept. Aligns With Injustice In U.S. Supreme Court Age Discrimination Case

    The U.S. Justice Department is concerned that a literal interpretation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) creates an unfair two-tiered system with different standards between the federal and private sectors.

    The Justice Department, however, is not concerned that an unfair two-tiered system with different standards currently exists between the ADEA’s private sector provision and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, religion, color and national origin.

    Instead of bringing the ADEA’s federal and private sector provisions into line with Title VII, the Justice Department has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to make the federal sector provision of the ADEA just as unfair as the private sector provision of the ADEA, thus exacerbating the inequality that now exists between the ADEA and Title VII.  – Forbes, 27 November 2019

  • Seniors in the Academy (USA)

    Whether they are in front of or behind the lectern, why deny older faculty members and students their academic due?  – Inside Higher Ed, 27 November 2019

  • Ageing Baby Boomers to drive next wave of privatisations

    The boss of British services giant Serco, which makes about 30 per cent of its revenues in Australia, says the ageing of the population will drive the next wave of privatisations and outsourcing of government services.  – Australian Financial Review, 26 November 2019

  • Nigeria’s Govt to Strengthen Protection of Older Persons’ Human Rights

    The Nigeria’s Federal Government will continue to strengthen the protection of human rights of older persons in Nigeria, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said.

    Ehanire made the statement at the African Regional High-Level Conference on “Human Rights Situation of Older Persons” at ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja on Monday.

    He said that the elderly would be key to changing the game in Africa.  – All Africa, 25 November 2019

  • workingwise.co.uk survey highlights barriers faced by older workers

    Over half of workers over 50 still describe themselves as ambitious and half plan to work beyond retirement, but large numbers have faced age discrimination and 73% say employers don’t appreciate their experience, according to a survey by new website workingwise.co.uk.  – 25 November 2019

  • China’s ageing population prompts plan to deal with looming silver shock

    China has outlined a five-point strategy for managing its ageing population in its first policy paper to tackle the country’s most daunting social and political challenges of the coming decades.  – South China Morning Post, 24 November 2019

  • Why Boomer retirement time bomb could trigger youth backlash

    The federal government’s retirement income review is investigating whether an unfair tax burden will fall on younger workers to pay for superannuation tax breaks and the age pension.

    The review, commissioned by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, is looking at the budget sustainability of the retirement income system, as the large Baby Boomer generation retire and there are fewer working-age people to support the elderly.

    Where one generation is required to fund their own retirement as well as a previous or future generation they may view this as inequitable.  – Australian Financial Review, 23 November 2019

  • Opinion: Age old problems persist in the job market

    There’s still a stigma associated with hiring young professionals with little experience, but it’s the older workers who are worried.  – Arabian Business, 23 November 2019

  • Push to keep older Australians in the workforce has split peak bodies

    Australian Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has proposed upskilling older Australians to keep them in the workforce for longer, which has caused division between peak bodies, with one supporting and another against the suggestion.  – Aged Care Guide, 22 November 2019

  • Call to take population ageing more seriously

    Ryman Healthcare says the Australian and New Zealand governments need to take the rapid ageing of the population more seriously. Chief executive Gordon MacLeod estimates there are 143 million people aged over 80 years now and that will jump to 426 million by 2050. And he says the demographic spikes in both New Zealand and the Australian state of Victoria, the regions in which Ryman operates, are accelerating faster than the rest of the world.  – Otago Daily Times, 22 November 2019

  • Alan Jones hits back at the Treasurer’s ‘gaffe of the year’

    Alan Jones says the Treasurer’s comments about older Australians will go down as the “gaffe of the year”.

    Josh Frydenberg is defending himself after delivering a speech encouraging ageing Aussies to retrain and stay in the workforce for longer.  – 2GB, 22 November 2019

  • Age-Inclusiveness Is Easier Than You Think: First Steps To Get You Started

    When the largest growth of employees is 65 and above, and data consistently report three of four employees have experienced age-discrimination, smart organizations are scrambling to incorporate age-inclusive practices. Those doing so will benefit from larger talent pools, increased innovation and reduced vulnerability to age-related litigation. The question is, how to do it?   – Forbes, 22 November 2019

  • Economic consequences of negative demographics

    A presentation of the main findings of a recently published IMF study entitled “Risks of demographic change in Central and Eastern Europe” on the socio-economic implications of current negative demographic trends in Serbia and Central and Eastern European countries’.

    According to the results of this study, as explained by Ruifeng Zhang of the IMF and one of the authors of the research, half of the CESEE countries will see a 15% population decline by 2050, and the population of these countries is ageing faster than the population of Western Europe.  – Serbian Monitor, 20 November 2019

  • Older Workers Have a Big Secret: Their Age

    Afraid of being rejected by younger managers and colleagues, they hide things that might reveal their true age

    Peppy Dubno worked for 23 years for a large financial-services company in New York. And during that time, she didn’t tell anybody her age. Ms. Dubno, who retired last year at 70 as a vice president specializing in data and information architecture, didn’t talk about when she went to college or other life events that might reveal her age. She didn’t correct colleagues who thought she was far younger, because of her proficiency in technology and because she’s fit and very youthful looking with shoulder-length light brown hair….  – Wall St Journal, 17 November 2019

  • How elders can reinvigorate the workforce

    The world is ageing. The scaremongering about so many elders has already begun. The new era has been described as a “threat”, “grey tsunami”, and “demographic time bomb”. But what’s causing that kind of problematic, alarmist language? And how could elders actually help bolster the workforce?  – BBC, 15 November 2019

  • Older Workers Will Be More Vulnerable In the Next Recession

    2019 Q3 Status of Older Workers Report

    Financial Fragility: Older workers have higher levels of financial fragility than in 2006, before the Great Recession

    Scars from the Great Recession: Millions of workers who are now nearing retirement lost jobs in the 2008-09 recession, saw their wages fall, and now face increased risk of repeated job loss.

    Policy Recommendations: Boost income assurance for older people by strengthening Social Security, creating  Guaranteed Retirement Accounts, bolstering unemployment insurance, and creating a federal Older Workers Bureau to protect this growing population in the labor market.  – The New School, School of Economics, 13 November, 2019

  • There’s No Such Thing as Millennials or Boomers

    Generational labels get people fired up, but they’re science fiction. “When you dig into research into differences in discrete generations, there’s no evidence they exist,” says Cort Rudolph, a psychologist at Saint Louis University who has studied age and work-related behavior. “All this generation stuff is total nonsense.” – Bloomberg, 10 November 2019

  • The thing women struggle with most at work isn’t sexism, it’s ageism

    One key statistic: 58% of the women surveyed said that they thought their “identities and/or physical attributes impact their experiences at work,” according to the report. And out of all identity factors, age was the most popular answer among the women surveyed, playing a bigger a role than gender in the workplace.  – Quartz, 7 November 2019

  • How to keep baby boomer workers happy (USA)

    Effectively recruiting and retaining young talent shouldn’t come at the expense of older employees. – HR Executive, 4 November 2019

  • Rethinking retirement: How employers can do more to support older workers

    Australia’s ageing population may present economic challenges, but telling older workers to learn new skills isn’t the best way to solve them.

    That’s according to University of Adelaide senior research fellow Andreas Cebulla, who said Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s plan to keep Australians working for longer failed to take into account the main reasons why people retire.  – The New Daily, 20 November 2019

  • Debunking myths around ageing and work (Australia)

    The Australian population is ageing. … Prolonging the working life in an inclusive way, and promoting solidarity of different employee life stages, are key issues in the workplace.

    To help [organisations] with this, Professor Philip Taylor from Federation University Australia and DCA are tackling some misconceptions around age and work.  – Slade Group, 8 November 2019