Over-50's discriminated against by employers

by AB24 Jun 2013

One in ten Australian businesses have an age above which they will not recruit, according the Australian Human Rights Commission – and that age is 50.

Age Discrimination Commissioner, Susan Ryan AO, has released research providing evidence of the negative stereotypes about older people.

“With the expected radical change in the age profile of our population over the next 50 years, resulting in over 25% of people being aged 65 and over, shifting these attitudes and behaviours is imperative,” says Ryan. “It is interesting that this research highlights so clearly the constructive role that our media and advertising industries can play.”

A third of the business leaders surveyed said older workers ‘did not like being told what to do’ by someone younger, and were more forgetful, while a fifth said older workers preferred not to use technology, had difficulty learning new things and did not want to work long hours.

Fifteen per cent said older workers ‘complain a lot', and 11% felt older workers were ‘grumpy or short-tempered'.

The survey also found that one in five bosses would not encourage job applications from older workers and that older women felt more discriminated against than older men.

"Older participants, particularly women, feel that retail settings are geared to the needs of younger consumers,'' says Ryan.

“It is vital we recognize that the growth in the number of older Australians provides significant and very real economic and social benefits and opportunities. It is my hope that it will encourage constructive collaboration between media, advertisers and corporate Australia to present older Australians in a more accurate, balanced and diverse manner that reflect more realistically their value, capability and experience.