PAIN OF OLDER JOBSEEKERS

TASSIE WORK­FORCE DIS­CRIM­I­NA­TION

Mercury (Hobart) - - FRONT PAGE - HE­LEN KEMPTON

TAS­MA­NIAN job seek­ers are fac­ing age dis­crim­i­na­tion and with grow­ing pres­sure to stay in the work­force longer it is time the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment stepped in, say equal op­por­tu­nity and age ad­vo­cates.

“Age dis­crim­i­na­tion is still rife in Aus­tralia,” Coun­cil of the Age­ing Aus­tralia head Ian Yates said re­cently.

Doors were even closed to older work­ers who had reskilled, Mr Yates said.

“In many cases the preva- lence and com­plex­ity of age dis­crim­i­na­tion means that skilled and tech­no­log­i­cally savvy ma­ture age work­ers will still be locked out of jobs,” he said.

Anti-Dis­crim­i­na­tion Com­mis­sioner Sarah Bolt said that in 2015-16, Equal Op­por­tu­nity Tas­ma­nia re­ceived 10 com­plaints in re­la­tion to al­le­ga­tions of dis­crim­i­na­tion in the area of age/em­ploy­ment.

“If a per­son be­lieves that the rea­son they were un­suc­cess­ful in se­cur­ing em­ploy­ment was due to their age I would en­cour­age them to lodge a com­plaint,” Ms Bolt said.

By the year 2030, it is es­ti­mated a quar­ter of Tas­ma­nia’s pop­u­la­tion will be over 65.

La­bor force data shows the par­tic­i­pa­tion rate in Tas­ma­nia de­clines sharply af­ter 55 and was lower than the na­tional av­er­age for all age groups over 45 years.

In its sub­mis­sion to the Aus­tralian Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion’s Will­ing to Work In­quiry, Equal Op­por­tu­nity Tas­ma­nia said it was “clear that older Tasmanians ex­pe­ri­ence high rates of dis­crim­i­na­tion in em­ploy­ment, in­clud­ing be­ing turned down for po­si­tions, on the ba­sis of their age”.

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