Why is ageism still rampant in Australia?

Employers are breaking the law by setting an age limit on job applicants

Why is ageism still rampant in Australia?

Almost a third of Australian employers are reluctant to hire job applicants beyond a certain age, according to a government survey.

For seven in 10 companies, the cut-off age for candidates is 50 – even though setting an age limit on job applicants is against the law in Australia.

While respondents are hesitant to recruit older workers, the majority recognise that the experience (75%) and professional knowledge (68%) that more seasoned employees bring to the table give their companies an advantage.

Among those who hire older employees, 32% said they have not faced any major roadblocks to hiring more experienced staff, the Australian Human Rights Commission found.

However, 28% said a shortage of older talent has made it difficult for their organisation to support an age-diverse workforce.

Other concerns employers have when recruiting older staff include:

  • Older employees’ perceived lack of technological skills – 20%
  • Roles being too physically demanding for older employees – 17%
  • Older employees’ salary expectations being too high – 16%
  • Older employees not fitting into the company culture – 14%

“As we live longer and healthier lives, it´╗┐ is crucial for people to be able to contribute through the paid workforce for financial reasons and because such engagement contributes to a sense of meaning or purpose,” said Dr. Kay Patterson, age discrimination commissioner of the human rights commission.


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