Older Aussies facing discrimination during quest for work

MORE than a third of people older than 45 have experienced age discrimination during their search for employment, a Seniors Australia report revealed on Thursday.

The research report draws on a Federal Government-commissioned survey of more than 3000 people, aged 45 to 74, completed in 2012.

It found within their workplaces, 13% of respondents said they were denied training, promotion and equal pay while suffering derogatory comments and feeling "forced out".

National Seniors chief executive Michael O'Neill said the results showed that after a certain age, the doors to training, promotion and even second interviews started closing.

"Workplace age discrimination is insipid, very difficult to prove and quietly undermining efforts to increase Australia's mature-age participation rates," he said.

"Losing your job at midlife and then being dismissed over and again as having little more to offer ... is emotionally devastating," he said.

"With 15 to 20 years taken off their savings accumulation phase these older Australians will eventually find themselves consigned to living a hand-to-mouth retirement."

The report also found 31% of those retired said a key factor in their retirement was that they were "considered too old" by employers.


Key findings

  • 16% in labour market told they are "too old for the job", commonly by family and friends.
  • 36% say they were excluded on basis of age while searching for a job.
  • 13% say they were excluded within their workplace.
  • 5 in 6 jobseekers agree that age discrimination was a problem while searching for a job.
  • 67% agree age discrimination was a problem in the workplace.

* SOURCE: Age Discrimination in the Labour Market: Experiences and Perceptions of Mature Age Australians.