Australia's Susan Ryan has new proposals for older workers

February 13, 2014
Australia's Susan Ryan
Susan Ryan, Australia's 'Age Discrimination Commissioner' has opined that older workers are being discriminated against by their younger bosses. And that, this often times takes the form of discouraging and negative remarks, comments, etc. that they are too old to receive training to keep up with their job’s professional demands. Such situations are compelling the older workers to contemplate retiring from their jobs.

Due to this, the Ms. Susan Ryan has averred, the country’s welfare and health costs are rising, because the older workers are being refused jobs and remunerative work. The most creative people are being pushed into disability or aged support pension scheme, according to her.

According to the honorable minister, the economy of the country would be drained if the older people are retiring from their jobs when they are still in their 50s and early 60s. She has also asserted that she intends to release a report in the coming months that argues that 10.8 billion Australian dollars will be the cost to the economy every year, because of this kind of age discrimination.

She has also stated that she intends to bring in proposals to change the ‘Age Discrimination Act’ that could help the elderly workers, who are generally above the age of 50, so that they can be  in the workforce for a longer time.

The abilities and capabilities of the older workers have to be recognized and be put to productive use by the employers of the organization. Thus, for example, new employees who join companies and organizations, either from the country itself or from those abroad who are generally young can be trained for new skills by conducting training sessions by the older and more experienced employees. In addition, they can be guided in a proper way by providing them suitable guidance.

Of the various complaints received by Human Rights Commission pertaining to age discrimination, the major complaints are job-related.

Mr. Greg Goudie, the executive director of DOME Association, a community-based not-for-profit employment and training organisation has said that on an average, older workers who are above the age of 45 are spending 18 months looking for work.

DOME was started in 1981. Since then, it has been offering services which many people have been availing of to help themselves in finding suitable work.

It is being hoped that the honorable minister’s proposition to bring in changes in the ‘Age Discrimination Act’ and thus some newer laws will discourage and end age-related discrimination and help the older and elderly people to be at the workplace for a longer time.

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