The Human Rights and Equally Opportunity Commission’s campaign to break through negative stereotypes about mature workers is just a first step according to a seniors lobby group.
National Seniors has called on governments to re-think their work, age and retirement policies.
The group wants all older Australians to be covered by workers compensation and to have access to superannuation and training programs.
Also included on its wish list are working credit schemes for pensioners and a more flexible Pension Bonus Scheme to create incentives for people to work past the pension age.
“Age discrimination, which is felt by people as young as 45, has permeated the job market for many years,” said National Seniors CEO, Michael O’Neill.
“We all know that once you’re 50 and out of the workforce, getting back in is a challenge and long-term unemployment rates confirm that.”
The lobby group has also repeated its call for a campaign to promote the benefits of older workers, including experience, reliability and the capacity to mentor younger colleagues.
“By 2010 there will be 3.3 million over-50s in the workforce; in less than thirty years that number will reach 10 million plus. Without a doubt, the over-50s have a big hand in future national productivity,” said Mr O’Neill.
“Now, more than ever, as the population ages we need fresh ideas on work, retirement and our labour force from business, government and the community,” he said.