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Older workers would benefit from a new approach to income support

Australian Greens spokesperson on Ageing, Senator Rachel Siewert says government plans to remove age discrimination from the workplace should be accompanied by other measures to make it easier for older Australians to continue workforce participation.
“More should be done to assist older workers into employment and our society needs to change the way it thinks about older workers,” Senator Siewert said today.

“Older Australians very clearly have the capacity and desire to continue to make strong, positive contributions to our communities.

“At the moment these opportunities aren’t being provided to older workers and discrimination against hiring older employees is a growing barrier to finding a job.

“Already, 1 in 3 people on Newstart Allowance are aged over 45 and on average they receive the payment for a total of 70 weeks - double that of their younger peers.

“Governments, businesses and organisations need to be developing better policies and approaches to ensure we are able to access the benefits of older workers.

“Appropriate policies and legislative reforms are needed in this area, as the current the income support system and employment services failing to adequately support older workers trying to find work or looking to combine part time work with income support.

“Reforms around areas such as superannuation, workers compensation and income insurance are also very important. By building a more flexible system, people can be encouraged to undertake paid or voluntary work for longer periods of time,” Senator Siewert concluded.

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