How Young is Too Old? The Downward Creep of Ageism

This November, the 2017 National Employment Solutions Conference will examine the changing face of work and the workplace and the impacts on sector professionals.

Justine Irving Researcher, Centre for Workplace Excellence, University of South Australia will be attending this year’s Conference with her presentation, “How young is too old? The downward creep of ageism”.

Despite the introduction of age discrimination laws at both a national and state level and appointment of an Age Discrimination Commissioner, negative perceptions of older workers and their skills and working capacity persist.

ageism in the workplace
Justine Irving

In addition, there is evidence that employers will take applicant age into consideration on a regular basis when making recruitment decisions, whilst viewing older workers as more costly to employ than their younger colleagues due to increased sick and annual leave benefits, resistance to change, and shorter career outlook.

The Work, Care, Health and Retirement Project was a three year Australian Research Council funded research project that sought to analyse how Australians can ‘work well’ and ‘retire well’. Almost a third of men and women aged 45 years and older in this study reported experiencing less favourable treatment than other people at work or had trouble finding work due to their age and assumptions people make about older adults. Retirees who had experienced age related discrimination in the recent past were significantly more likely to report an involuntary rather than voluntary retirement.

Justine will present some of the major outcomes from this and other national studies, including the prevalence, types and impact of work related ageism on people’s experience of work and retirement. Justine will conclude with some practical suggestions on how employers and human resource staff can help to tackle ageism for workers and job seekers both.

The 2017 National Employment Solutions Conference will be held at Mantra Legends on the Gold Coast from Thursday the 16th to Friday the 17th of November 2017.  It will be a platform for policy makers, academics, employers, human resource managers, recruitment services, association and “not-for-profit” representatives.

The Conference will motivate and inspire professionals with an extensive program of keynotes, concurrent sessions, case studies, workshops and posters.

Register here!