Posts Tagged “mature age jobs”

More incentives for first movers on higher rehiring age

THE Government has accepted the recommendations of the Tripartite Committee on Employability of Older Workers to raise the age ceiling for the re-employment of older workers to 67 from 65. This will be done through promotional means supported by incentives.

The idea is to give companies more time to prepare for this before legislation kicks in. The legislation will be introduced at an “appropriate time”.

The PAP Seniors’ Group (PAP.SG) welcomes this move, which is a progressive step and will help to boost the employment prospects of our older workers.

The Government has moved to bolster the position of our seniors in health care and housing through its recent policy changes, and it makes great sense now to focus on employment. This is an important way of ensuring that our seniors remain independent and can continue to live with dignity. To be able to work for as long as they wish to and earn a steady stream of income is greatly empowering for our seniors.

Raising the rehiring age to 67 is not just good for the individual. It also makes great economic sense. It is projected that by 2030, there will be 900,000 people aged 65 years and above. If our total fertility rate remains at 1.2 and we have no immigration, there will be only 2.1 working age citizens for every citizen above the age of 65 in 2030. If we do not extend the productive working age of our older workers, our growth will be affected.

Companies, too, benefit, and much has been said about the value of older workers. In a survey conducted last year by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices, the majority of the companies which responded agreed that mature workers benefited them through lower turnover rates and reduced absenteeism.

While promotional means is a practical solution to give employers more time to adjust, I do hope that the Government will not take too long to legislate the extension.

I have no doubt that the unions will be able to push through the extension among unionised companies, but the worry will be the non-unionised companies, where this may not be a priority. To some extent, the proposed incentives may help and are a good move, as most employers have cited costs as a concern, but the question is whether this will provide enough push for companies to voluntarily raise the ceiling.

I also hope that incentives will not have the unintended consequence of devaluing the contribution of older workers, particularly for those who would be re-employed in any case because their services are needed.

Nevertheless, to really ensure that the incentives have an impact, the Government could consider introducing a sliding scale of benefits, whereby those who come on board earlier are given more incentives compared to those who respond later. In this way, hopefully, most companies would be encouraged to raise the rehiring age ceiling faster.

According to employers, they need more time to redesign jobs and work processes and to retrain older workers. I find this surprising as such measures should already have been put in place when the rehiring age ceiling was raised to 65. There cannot be that many major changes that have to be made for the working age to be increased by just an additional two years.

Also, employers’ concern about medical costs should, to a large extent, be addressed by MediShield Life that comes into effect next year, as a larger portion of hospitalisation charges will be covered. Hence, prudent employers may want to rationalise their own medical benefits scheme with MediShield Life, to address this concern.

The training of older workers is another major area in ensuring that their skills remain relevant and useful to companies’ needs. There are now already available training grants and programmes that companies can tap to prepare their older workers, so that lack of skills should not be an excuse. The tripartite partners could also do a lot more to highlight positive examples of enlightened companies that have voluntarily raised the rehiring ceiling, even without any incentives.

One example is Prima. A few years ago, I officiated at an event where the company gave out long service awards to its employees. There were employees who had served the company for more than 40 years and were in their 70s. It felt really good to see a company that values its workers so much.

In August last year, Prima signed a collective agreement with the Food, Drinks and Allied Workers’ Union to offer 65-year-old workers, with satisfactory performance and good health, employment contracts until age 68.

I urge more companies to emulate Prima’s example and waste no time in raising the rehiring age ceiling of their older workers. I am heartened, too, by the public sector’s positive response to the recommendation, as its hiring practices have a deep impact on the private sector.

Finally, we need to address the concerns of older workers who have lost their jobs and are trying to get back into the workforce, which the recommendation will not cover. Among their biggest hurdles in seeking employment are hiring practices that are still biased against them. Employers should be prepared to give them a chance, rather than turn them away just because of their age.

I would like to suggest that companies hiring unemployed older workers be given incentives too, and not only those who raise the rehiring age ceiling of existing workers. It would also be useful to conduct a study on the hiring practices of companies to ascertain whether this bias really exists or whether there are other valid factors involved that affect the hiring of older workers. In this way, more effective strategies could be developed to boost older workers’ chances of securing a job.

The tripartite partners have made a good move. The challenge now is to make sure that the recommendation works.

The writer is the Speaker of Parliament and chairman of the PAP Seniors’ Group.

stopinion@sph.com.sg

– See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/more-incentives-first-movers-higher-rehiring-age#sthash.MULRiXJp.dpuf

A new generation of retirees is heading back to work. Here’s some advice on how to snag one of those encore jobs

Encore! Encore! One more time.

That’s what many retired Canadians want to do: Go back to work, try something new, perhaps with fewer hours and less pay, but find a way to keep active, stay engaged and get paid for it.

Longevity is rising, we’re healthier and so the traditional notion of retirement has faded. Some want to work because they have to and others because they want to.

But if our needs are changing, our employers aren’t keeping up with the times, says Adina Lebo, chair of the downtown Toronto chapter of the Canadian Association of Retired People (CARP). Attitudes in the workplace are geared to forcing older workers out of full-time work and few employers have mechanisms to offer a transition to part-time work.

“The workforce is built to push people out at 65,” says Lebo, who joined CARP four years ago after a 30-year career in the film and TV industry. “While people are looking for a continuation of their career, or a way to apply their skills in a new area, the doors are often closed.”

CARP sponsored a job fair in Toronto last year to link employers with 50+ candidates. There was plenty of interest from companies with franchising and sales opportunities. The former requires an investment on your part and the latter uses your networks to sell products or services.

“There’s no ageism in sales,” says Lebo. “It’s on commission, so there’s no risk to the employer. They use you and your community to sell, so that was wide open.”

There are jobs out there for older works, but competition is stiff. For many, the first step is dusting off their resumes and polishing rusty interview skills.

Marie Bountrogianni, a former Ontario cabinet minister and currently Dean of the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University, has some advice. Here are her five top job hunting tips for older workers.

Three things to avoid in an interview:

Talking about your age: “This is always tricky,” says Bountrogianni, who has a Ph.D. in education and was chief psychologist for the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board before entering politics.

“Employers are not allowed to ask about your age, but they often hint at it. Talk around your age in constructive ways. [For example,] you can indicate that because you no longer have little children you have a lot of flexibility around scheduling.

Tipping your tech hand: “Be careful. Don’t just say you use Facebook and Twitter. Show how you have used social media to increase sales, or promote an event, so they won’t think you are on it all the time.”

Don’t say, I’m ready for a change: “While it may be very true, it sounds like you are bored, and have grown stale in your current job,” Bountrogiann says.

Two ways to spruce up your resume:

Age proof it: Don’t go back to the beginning of your career. Choose the experiences that relate to the job you are applying for. Do not put in specific dates for jobs or schooling.

Show what you have done: Use a functional, rather than chronological resume, so that you can bundle your experiences without dating them and relate skills to the job advertised.

Bountrogianni says employers want to know you’re not planning to coast at their expense.

They also want to know you are still current, so she advises taking courses in your field of interest and keeping up to date. Always have questions in an interview, because employers want you to be interested in them and about their job.

Bountrogianni is Ontario’s representative on Skills Connect Inc., a national non-profit organization founded by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce in 2010. It receives government funding and owns ThirdQuarter, a national employment recruiter for people aged 45 and over. More agencies are working with older adults, including The Challenge Factory, which has offices in Toronto, Calgary and Ottawa.

The Chang School offers programs of interest to 50+ workers. Wednesday, Bountrogianni is hosting a free breakfast between 8:30 and 10:30 as part of a panel discussion on aging in the workforce. It is being held at Heaslip House, 7th Floor, 297 Victoria Street.

Toronto Star

Companies adopt practices to cater to older workers

Absolute Kinetics Consultancy, which provides safety training services, has about 130 workers, five of whom are above the age of 60. To cater to their needs, the company gives them screen filters for their computers to protect their eyes from the glare. They also get free yearly health screenings, which are extended to their spouses and parents.

Absolute Kinetics Consultancy’s executive chairman, Mr Fang Koh Look, said these practices have not been developed overnight. Since 2008, he has sought feedback from his employees, sometimes over coffee.

“You talk to them and ask them, ‘What can I do as an employer to make you feel more equipped, to make you feel more supported?'” Mr Fang elaborated.

Supermarket chain Giant also places importance on older workers. One hundred and forty-four of its 240 workers are above the age of 60. The company allows them to change job scopes to maximise their strengths.

The supermarket uses rolled cages to move products around the store. These can be heavy so a smaller version of the cage, which is much lighter, is available for older workers to use.

“Age is just a number. What we have to do as a worker is to have a positive mind. We must be able to think positively, do things positively, then I think we will succeed. And we will be able to share our experiences with the younger workers, and mentor them at the same time,” said Mr Arumugam Haridass, department manager of Giant.

On Monday (Sep 29), the Government announced that companies which voluntarily re-employ workers up to the age of 67 will receive incentives. Details will be announced at a later date.

Source:  Channel News Asia (Singapore)

Living Well Navigator ambassador and respected Australian media personality Deborah Hutton talks about the positives of getting older and celebrating her 50th birthday – naked on the cover of a magazine.

Since I so unashamedly celebrated my 50th birthday naked on the cover of The Australian Women’s Weekly, I’ve somehow become the poster girl for the 50-plus set… and that’s a very happy and empowering place for me to be.

Personally I like to think that by the time you reach your fifties you’re in a great place. You’ve gathered a wealth of knowledge, a lifetime of experience, hopefully you’re stronger, smarter and more active than you’ve ever been, you have an enormous amount to contribute and you’ve fine-tuned a decent sense of humour because you’ll need it!

We all appreciate getting older does have its challenges, but for me it’s about making positive choices around my future and importantly, my own happiness. When I was approached to join with NRMA as an ambassador of Living Well Navigator, I immediately connected with how necessary and comprehensive a tool this is, and how it offers clear direction around mature-age concerns with real answers and real services.

I want to congratulate NRMA, not only for this brilliant initiative, but for their foresight in calling it Living Well Navigator, because the words LIVING WELL are what it’s all about for me.

I’m very fortunate in my work that I come across some extraordinary people from very different walks of life, and I am in the position where I get to sit down, have a chat on camera and discover what makes them tick. I am continually inspired by age and wisdom.

Only this week I had a very funny, candid and inspiring chat with our own living legend Dawn Fraser, who continues to be as active and valued in the community as ever. She was telling a wonderful story about how an 83-year-old woman from the Sunshine Coast wanted Dawn to teach her how to swim 50 metres. And sure enough, with Dawn’s help, she reached her goal in only a few weeks – 83… bless her!

I was in the Barossa Valley recently filming an interview with the one and only Maggie Beer for my websiteBalance by Debora Hutton. I have been very lucky to have crossed paths with Maggie over the years through my work with Qantas and Channel 9, and I always come away amazed by her level of energy, commitment and good humour.

She was awarded Senior Australian of the Year in 2010 and has used that platform to create the Maggie Beer Foundation, which focuses on supporting the wellbeing of people in aged care facilities by providing them with food that looks appetising, and is full of flavour and nutrients. It’s a major passion for her and we love her for it.

I look at Ita Buttrose who I met many moons ago when I was modelling in the early 80s and she was the queen of the Packer publishing empire. She’s lived a full life of being a mum, wife and businesswoman. She’s now busy hosting a morning show on Channel 10, still sitting on numerous boards, and spending her time speaking and mentoring others. Ita is in her early 70s with no signs she’s about to slow down.

And it’s not just the women who stop me in my tracks. Did you see Clint Eastwood’s latest movie, Jersey Boys? Clint is 84 and still producing exceptional movies that make big dollars for the box office.

My point is, let’s not hold back as we get older but utilise all the wisdom and knowledge we’ve gathered over the years and put it to good use.
What will you regret later if you don’t do something about it today? You don’t have to be an award-winning actor or Olympian to recognise this – it’s about playing to your strengths and never giving in.

I like to think about getting older not as a number that comes round every year but how I actually feel in myself. I don’t like to put limitations on myself. I know that I always want to be fit and flexible enough to move freely and play golf. I want to be doing something valuable, giving back to the community in some way and feeling connected with people. I want to be travelling like my mum in her late 70s and booking cruises overseas. I don’t want my health issues to become a daily conversation. I want to continue to be kind and considerate and hope that if I step out of line, one of my best pals will tell me to pull my head in!

Whatever it is you want, you have to acknowledge it as a priority. It might be as simple as choosing to get a little fitter and starting with a daily walk. Whatever it is, commit to it and make the most of every day. It’s a gift.

Have you recently achieved a personal goal? Do you have any tips to share? Please comment below or start a conversation over on the Living Well Navigator forums.

 

 

By Neil Patrick and Dean Goranson

 

The debate about the relationship between employee age and business performance has been going on for ever. But the recent economic turmoil and its after effects on young and old alike have resulted in the topic surfacing again. It’s time to ditch the prejudices.

Employer attitudes can be summarised as:

Younger workers are cheaper to hire, have more up-to-date skills – especially in the area of technology and have more energy and dynamism. They also have lower reliability and significantly less loyalty.

Older workers stick around for much longer than their younger peers. They attain greater mastery of their work and have higher interpersonal skills. But they are also more expensive, less energetic and struggle with today’s technology.

This simplified view distorts the real question. There is no simple correlation between employee age and business performance. Having an older or younger workforce doesn’t automatically make your business perform better or worse. Neither does providing a great working environment result in greater staff loyalty.

The surprising truths about age and employee retention

According to the PayScale report, the Fortune 500 company with the highest median employee tenure (20 years) is Eastman Kodak. More than half of its employees are older than 50. Over the five years through 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, it delivered an average return on assets of negative 12%…

Another myth is that creating a great working environment and culture for staff increases loyalty.

The perks Google lays on for its youthful employees are the stuff of legend. Free gourmet food all day, the best health insurance plan anywhere, five months’ paid maternity leave, kindergartens and gyms at the workplace, the freedom to work on one’s own projects 20 percent of the time, even death benefits. The tech behemoth has topped Fortune Magazine’s list of best companies to work for every year since 2007.

Despite this, Google ranks amongst those with the highest employee turnover rates. The median employee tenure at Google is just over one year, according to the payroll consultancy PayScale.

The simple truths are staring us in the face

So what are businesses to do? If you hire younger people, you are burdened with higher turnover rates. If your workforce is older, you risk stagnation and loss of competitive edge.

A friend of mine, Dean Goranson has provided a valuable perspective which I provide below. It’s a simple tale about his experiences when seeking to get his watch strap repaired.

Here’s Dean’s tale:

A while back I had somehow managed to break the watch band on my high end wrist watch. I finally got tired of running around with it in my pocket, so one day I decided to go down to the mall and check out the jewellery stores to either get it fixed or replaced.

The first store I stopped in, I showed the young lady my watch. She took it to her manager. He asked if I had purchased the watch in their store. I said , ”No”. He replied, “I’m sorry it’s the store’s policy to only work on Items we sell from here.” I then asked, “Isn’t that the style of watch you have in your display case?” “Well yes” was this young man’s reply “but we don’t service anything we haven’t sold. Perhaps you should try that watch band kiosk across from us.” This young manager who must of been well on the south side of thirty was definite in his conviction of his being right. Consumer experience was nowhere to be found on his radar screen. So off to the kiosk to see if I would have any better luck there.

The experience with the young lady who also appeared to be well on the south side of thirty turned out to be quite similar to the first store I had stopped at. I asked if she thought she could fix my watch band. “No, I’m afraid I can’t. We only sell watch bands and put them on for the customer and I don’t have anything that nice. I have an imitation leather if you want me to put that on for you?” I declined and bid her adieu. I really started to feel like this was becoming a quest by this point with no easy answers, yet on I trudged to the next jewellery store.

At the third store I was confronted by another well under thirty something young fella. I showed him the watch and asked if they could fix it “Let me get my manager.” The manager is summoned. Another under 30 something, he takes a look at the watch and say’s “Let’s see what my jeweller can do with this.” so over to the jewellers station we go he looks at it and say’s ” I’m not going to be able to fix this band.” the manager then asks ” Do we have any watch bands in the store to replace this?’ They look and no can do. “Well, I guess we’ll need to call home office to order a replacement.”

The manager asked the jeweller to call home office for the order, the jeweller came back and said he couldn’t get home office on the phone. The manager then asked, “Let me get your phone number and I will call you as soon as I find out something.” At least this young manager was trying to make my experience worthwhile but his operation was in such a state of chaos that he couldn’t make it happen. So off I went disappointed and frustrated.

By now I was a bit dejected at not being able to either get my watch band fixed or replaced.

 

Walking past the fourth jewellery store, I happened to look in and behind the counter were a couple of ladies. They were well up in age – the grey hair, the glasses and thick figures. I thought to myself what the heck, let’s see if they have any ideas.

Into the store I go and ask these two women, “I’ve got a broken watch band is there anything you can do with it?” “Let me see it,” the white haired gal asked. “We’ve only just started selling this brand of watch; you’ve had yours for a while haven’t you?” “Yes I have.” I could tell in her mind she was fussing over what her next move was going to be. “Let’s take this over to Bill and see what he has to say”.

So over to Bill we go who turns out to be their manager. He too is older and greying. The lady explains the situation to him and asks what they could do to help me. Bill looks at me and says ” Technically I’m not supposed to work on a watch we haven’t sold to a customer, the upper management has the fear we will get sued by someone who claims we broke their stuff.” “You wouldn’t do something like that if I worked on your watch would you?” I said “It’s already broken, what have I got to lose.”

Bill then asks,” Where did your watch fit on your wrist before the band broke?” I showed him and he said “Let me try something.” He took my watch over to another counter and came back in a couple of minutes and said “See if that fits over your hand?” My watch fits better now than it did before I broke the band. Bill even refused to charge for the repair.

A few weeks later it was a good friend’s birthday. And I bought her some diamond earrings. Did I shop around? No I just went straight back to Bill…


Horses for coursesDean’s experience is not research data of course. It’s no more or less than a personal experience. But I am sure it is one that most of us can relate to and have probably shared.

In the effort to improve on profits, what ends up being missed is the consumer experience – the part which keeps the customer coming back for more and recommending the business to others. This hinges on those people the business owner has retained to be the company’s representatives to the public. The higher the quality service the customer receives, the better the results for the business.

As Dean’s story relates, the different levels of service received directly influenced his purchase behaviour now and probably for many years to come. An older employee might be well past the dynamic approach of their youth. But today, youthful distractions are behind them. They have the rich experience of what quality service and customer care really mean.

It seems to me that it’s time to forget the over-simplistic and pointless debate of young versus old. What we need is a simple recognition that age in and of itself is not the issue. Skills and attitudes are what matter. If you want to give your customers excellent service, there is a strong argument for hiring older people. And even if they are slightly more expensive, you’ll recover these costs in longer tenure and enhanced customer loyalty. If you need the sort of perspective that the young have and can afford to replace them frequently, then hire young people. But don’t expect there’s anything you can do to keep them for long.

Let’s not be trapped by the pointless argument about which is better. The key to getting the best business results is about understanding the distinct merits of young and old, making hiring decisions on the value of each and the requirements of the role regardless of the candidate’s age.

Age Discrimination Starts Early!

These Strategies Can Help.

numbersWhile finishing her MBA at a top tier university, Sarah was enthusiastically recruited by a large company. She accepted their offer to join the marketing department. Once there, she connected with a powerful mentor who helped her snag plum assignments. For several years Sarah was the most junior professional in her group, and she enjoyed being treated like a young star.

After a few years, the growing company made a wave of new hires and Sarah began to feel neglected. She said she was stuck with routine workwhile the interesting new projects went to her younger colleagues.

Sarah was asked to supervise the internship program, but didn’t enjoy the work. She said the interns didn’t have the right work ethic and were obsessed by technology. One day as she entered the kitchen, she heard them making fun of her for being clueless about the power of social media.

When Sarah came to me for coaching, she complained that she was past her career peak. She felt like she was cut off from the company’s high potential challenges and might be too old to compete for another good job elsewhere. Sarah was 34 at the time.

Sarah felt she was the victim of age discrimination and to some degree her concerns were well founded. Ageism is rampant in the workplace and can be hard to fight. And even 30-something careerists like Sarah can find themselves sidelined by employers seeking fresh talent.

Sarah found ways to demonstrate her energy, talent and enthusiasm, and soon worked her way out of her slump. One thing that helped her was finding examples of older professionals whose age did need not seem to limit their success. She noticed that while some in her circle were dissed for being out of date, others seemed timeless despite their years.

If you’re facing a subtle age bias, a starting point for getting past it is to understand the negative stereotypes on which it’s based. Then make it clear that the stereotypes don’t fit you. Consider these strategies for minimizing the burden of ageism:

  •  Be tech-savvy. You don’t have to enjoy Skyping, sharing on Instagram or building a Twitter community. But if those are the ways that your colleagues or customers communicate, you absolutely must know how to join in. If you want to stay in the game, keep up with the technology. Take classes or find help, buy the devices, and do whatever it takes to keep your skills current.   And when you don’t understand the latest developments, avoid the temptation to indulge in a Luddite rant. Express an interest, ask for assistance and get on board.
  • Look and act fit. Some employers and younger workers believe that their older colleagues may have physical limitations that will prevent them from performing their fair share of the work. And your boss or clients won’t offer you new challenges if they think you are about to have a heart attack. If you want to maximize your career options, it is vital not only that you stay healthy but also that you look healthy and you exude energy.
  • Talk healthy. Most of us have health issues from time to time, but we can manage the way they impact us in the workplace. Beware of sabotaging yourself by talking too much about your symptoms or crises. If you endlessly discuss your health challenges, not only will you be boring, but people may start to think of you as frail and over the hill. Talk about the great hike you took last weekend, instead of how sore you felt on Monday morning.
  • Be stylish. Looking shabby may seem cool when you’re 27. But the older you get, the more important it is to look polished and up to date. If your clothes, hairdo or glasses seem out of style, you may seem like you are past your prime. That doesn’t mean you should dress like a kid, but you should aim for a look that feels current.
  • Don’t bring up your age. If you are older – or younger – than the people you work with, it is very tempting to keep mentioning that fact.   But if you can refrain from alluding to the age difference, there is a good chance that other people will forget about it.
  • Build a varied network. If you are accustomed to hanging out with friends of all ages, you are more likely to blend easily into a group of younger or older people. If you don’t allow age to be a barrier in your social life, you will be more comfortable talking and keeping up with different age groups at work.
  • Listen to your colleagues. A great starting point for building strong relationships at work is to genuinely listen to what other people have to say. If you’re part of the older set, show an interest in what younger folks say and learn from their perspective.

If you put aside your own prejudices about age and look for opportunities to work on projects with people of all generations, you’ll become more skillful at avoiding the burden of age bias.

Date  August 26, 2014
Natasha Boddy

Canberra Times

Older workers who find themselves out of work are likely to remain unemployed much longer than younger Australians and superannuation balances among those in their pre-retirement years are unevenly distributed.

Marcia Keegan, an associate with Curtin University and SGS Economics and Planning, said generous tax concessions for mature-age workers topping up their superannuation do not benefit people who find themselves out of work or underemployed in the latter half of their working lives.

Dr Keegan will give a talk about the option for sustaining workforce participation to retirement age and reducing superannuation gaps, at a forum at the Australian National University on Wednesday.

“Things have been getting a lot better for mature-age workers, those aged between 45 and 64, over the last 20 years or so; they’ve got higher rates of employment, lower rates of disability, they’ve got lower rates of unemployment and also their superannuation balances are growing on average,” she said.

However, Dr Keegan, said it still took much longer for older job seekers to find work compared to their younger counterparts. About a quarter of those aged 45 to 64 remained unemployed for more than a year;  this was the case for only 15 per cent of people aged under 44.

This raised concerns about the impact of long-term unemployment on their the superannuation balances, she said.

Dr Keegan’s presentation will look at some of the difficulties facing older workers and discuss policy options that could increase employment for mature-age workers and boost the superannuation balances of those heading into retirement.

She said the government’s new Restart program should be “quite helpful” when it comes to encouraging the employment of older Australians. Under the program, employers will get subsidies of up to $10,000 for hiring mature-age job seekers.

“Older people have a greater risk of being long-term unemployed and they also run the risk of facing age discrimination in the workforce, so this will hopefully encourage some employers [to hire older workers],” she said.

Dr Keegan said changes that allowed older people to contribute extra to their superannuation could be quite helpful, but only to those who had employment.

“One of the things that was floated was getting rid of the low income superannuation contribution,” she said.

“Of all the ways the government can raise money from taxes, taking money from the retirement accounts of low income workers is probably not the first place you should be looking.”

Dr Keegan said moves to increase the pension age was a natural progression given life expectancies were increasing, “but that only helps if you’re able to work and able to find work”.

The Living to get the age pension and enjoy life in retirement: prospects and policy options forum will hear from several speakers discussing factors affecting the health and well-being of older Australians. It will also examine policy options that could address inequalities in retirement stemming from inequalities in earlier in life, particularly those associated with workforce participation and disability.

Richard Cumpston, director of Australian Projections, will also speak at the forum. He will discuss the topic of life expectancies, including the differences in people’s chances of dying,  such as how married people are much less likely to die than unmarried people.

Dr Cumpston also said educated people tended to have lower disease risks, and people in high-grade occupations, such as professionals or managers, tended to have better life expectancies.

 

Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/older-job-seekers-remain-unemployed-for-longer-20140826-1079l3.html#ixzz3C3c81qFM

 Ageism in the Job Market

1 Monday hires RF 462947329 copy

Are we our own worst enemies? Part 1 of a series on ageism in the workplace.

“We’re looking for someone hungrier.”

“The right candidate is high energy.”

If you’re over 50 and job-hunting, chances are you’ve heard phrases like these. Or maybe you’ve been told you’re overqualified or too senior. These are code words for “too old” and they pepper the language of hiring managers nationwide. Jacquelyn James, director of research at the Sloan Center for Aging & Work at Boston College says when people are asked on surveys to rate others on the basis of age and corresponding characteristics, older people are associated with negative traits that include a lack of interest in growing and developing, inflexibility in thinking and an unwillingness to learn and adapt to new technology. “The data about those kinds of traits are very mixed and much of it is perception,” she says.  And some weren’t negative. “Older people are seen as having a good work ethic, as working harder and being more comfortable with authority.”

Add to such negative stereotypes the mistaken perception that people working into their 60s and early 70s are taking jobs from younger workers. Although arecent Pew study soundly debunked that, as does Kevin Cahill, a research economist at the Sloan Center, the belief is pervasive. Cahill says although people are retiring later, the idea that older workers need to move out of the way for younger workers is a misperception. “The argument breaks down pretty rapidly if you look beyond individual firms and over time,” he says.

See also: Top LinkedIn Tips for Job Seekers

But prejudice of any type, of course, isn’t based on fact, and much of the age bias we see in hiring is unconscious, says Jacquelyn James. That’s due, at least in part, to the fact that ageism is the least studied or examined form of discrimination. A recent paper on ageism from psychologist Susan Fiske and Michael North at Princeton University, called ageism “the most socially condoned” form of prejudice. And it has intensified. By the time people reach their mid-60s, two out of three have retired, either voluntarily or because they weren’t able to keep or find a job, according to research from Gary Burtless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. By age 75, nine out of ten are out of the workforce.

Among the long-term unemployed, the situation is most severe for those over 55, who face the longest period of unemployment. Carl Van Horn, director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, says although the number fluctuates, at least two million people over age 55 have been out of work more than six months and at least half of those for more than a year.

See also: How Can I Compete With People Younger Than My Kids?

Because ageism is often unconscious it’s tough to disarm. With any bias, the key to mitigation is awareness, says James. Fact is, people generally don’t think of themselves as biased. In order to fight the stereotypes—say, that older workers don’t embrace new technology—James advises job candidates be explicit with interviewers that they are eager to learn, and have history of learning and embracing new technology.

With the right strategies, job seekers can combat age-related stereotypes rather than buying into them, says James, and take steps to adapt to the changing culture of the workplace.

Speak the Same Language

“People over 50 grew up talking about their accomplishments, about what they did and how well they did it,” says Gail Palubiak, owner of Interview Academy in Denver, a job search and interview consulting firm that specializes in over-50 job seekers. “But companies today speak the language of contribution. And this is critical—because you are likely interviewing with someone who isn’t the same generation. So talk about how you served a company, not how great you are.”

Posted by Judy Higgins on 30 July 2014

In workplaces all over the world, managers are for the first time dealing with the issues that arise when up to four generations work side by side.

Older workers stay on in employment for a variety of reasons. Some can’t afford to retire, others enjoy work and choose to continue, and in many cases mature employees want to build up their superannuation.

Organisations put themselves in a vulnerable position if they don’t have a profile of workers based on age and by section of the organisation. In an environment with an ageing population and ageing workforces, organisations need to be on the front foot. A profile of the age of your workers is essential, and a strategy to address retention and transition to retirement should now be part of any human resources strategy.

Talk to your older staff about their working plans. You will need to discuss:

  • How long they intend to continue working
  • Do they intend to keep working the same hours or slowly transition to retirement?
  • Will they be able to continue to do the same job for those years or will they need to re-train?
  • Developing an individual workplace plan

Critical to the effectiveness of this exercise is ensuring the discussion takes place in a non-threatening manner and that mature-age workers feel comfortable and confident to take part in the discussion. A carefully worded letter or memo should be sent to individuals from the Managing Director or CEO, advising them how valued they are and how serious the organisation is about retaining and working with employees who may be thinking about retiring.

Given that the age to access the age pension may rise to 70, considerations of older workers will be more important than ever. There are also many who will not want to work that long, and if they are some of your key people you need to know, and you need to have a strategy to address filling the gaps.

You must also make sure you have the policies and procedures in place to reflect that your company is sincere about valuing its older workers, and has the flexibility and trained managers to work in the best interests of all stakeholders. Companies that don’t do this well risk losing years of experience and knowledge that could be detrimental to their business.

 

Source:  The Living Well Navigator