Did you know that to be considered as an ‘older worker’ in Australia you only have to be older than 50? Now that’s pretty young (admittedly that’s coming from a 40 something!) but ask someone in their 50’s, who is looking for a job, whether they are finding it difficult to be considered for roles because of their age, and I bet you will hear a resounding ‘yes!’
It’s called ageism, and though it’s illegal to discriminate against a candidate because of their age (amongst other reasons) it happens quietly every day.
We have so many workers in their 50’s and 60’s who rightly feel like they are in their prime. Their family responsibilities are far less time consuming than they were and their wealth of experience is humbling. Importantly, there is also a Federal Government incentive programme for employers called Restart aimed at encouraging employers to take on workers over the age of 50 – the crux of Restart is an attractive $10,000 subsidy, this full rate is payable when older job seekers are employed for at least 30 hours per week.
Advantages of employing older workers:
1. Their children have left the nest – they can commit 100% with fewer distractions and don’t care about school holidays
2. They have a wealth of experience
3. Maturity ! That’s a big one right there
4. Loyalty – older workers are not interested in leaving you for greener pastures. They will most likely stay put longer and are less likely to take sick leave
5. Your business can benefit from the Restart subsidy programme.
So next time a CV crosses your desk from an older worker, or you are face to face in an interview, keep these factors in mind. Dismissing someone due to their age is shortsighted (pardon the pun) and don’t forget you will be in their shoes one day ….sooner than you think!