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New guide to keep our older workers working

Discrimination Age Discrimination
Traffic sign with "Age Limit 55"

A new guide on how to harness multigenerational workforces to improve the bottom line is now available to employers around the country, with the Australian Human Rights Commission releasing a toolkit to help employers, managers and human resources professionals understand their responsibilities, the rights of older workers and the economic benefits for hiring older workers.
Multigenerational workforces: a guide to the rights of older workers under the Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth) was developed in partnership with the NSW Government. It recognises that in Australia today we have five generations working side by side in the workforce.
But age discrimination still presents an enormous barrier to older Australians wanting to participate in the workforce. The guide shows that older workers are overlooked by prospective employers due to age; excluding them deprives those employers of the opportunity to engage willing, skilled and dedicated staff with a lifetime of varied experiences.
“Australians are increasingly working – and wanting to work – as they age,” said Age Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Kay Patterson.
“But data shows that 30% of employers are still reluctant to hire workers over a certain age, and for most of those (68%) that age is 50,” she said.

NSW Minister for Seniors John Sidoti said it makes no sense to have such a highly skilled, experienced section of the community sidelined from work.

“Research shows that potential employers too often overlook, poorly manage and disregard older workers,” Mr Sidoti said.

“That’s why we’ve worked with our partners at the Australian Human Rights Commission to develop a toolkit to help employers recognise and reject unlawful age discrimination and start discovering the benefits of older workers.”

Mr Sidoti urged businesses to use the guide as a first step in changing their workplaces for the better. “Employers have the power to build broadly skilled, multigenerational workplaces that contribute to longer, healthier and more productive working lives for Australians,” Mr Sidoti said. “That’s good for business, great for the community, and excellent for older Australians.”

The toolkit, called Multigenerational workforces: a guide to the rights of older workers under the Age Discrimination Act 2004, is available now here.