The High Cost of Discrimination

When someone over 50 years of age loses their job, it usually takes them five times as long to find a new job as it does for someone under 50 due to an appalling bias against seniors by the employers of the nation, including all three levels of government.

Discrimination against Seniors on account of their age is a crime, but employers, including governments, never ever tell a senior job applicant that they failed to get the job because of their age. They always say that there was another better qualified applicant.

Nevertheless, seniors all over Australia will tell you that when they are able to find out who the better qualified winner was, almost invariably the excuse that they were given was a lie. The person was simply a younger person with less qualifications.

Soon, as Australia’s population rapidly ages, we will have a situation where the nation has an acute labour shortage because we have not utilised a large number of unemployed seniors who will otherwise become a burden on government budgets. The economic chaos that this is creating can be laid at the feet of the Human Resources Managers in both the public and private sectors. They give the impression of being unenlightened people who have their minds planted back in the dark ages.

They need to get two important facts into their closed minds.

The first is that when the Federal Government, a century ago, set the retirement age and pension qualification at 65, most workers died around that age. The equivalent medical age is now 85.

The asset that a senior brings to any position is experience, commitment and loyalty because they will have a personal reason why they want to keep working. They don’t take ‘sickies’, nor do they look at the positions vacant column every day seeking a higher paid job. They are great mentors to young workmates, and this is reciprocated by the young keeping seniors up-to-date on new technology, thereby forming a great team spirit.

In addition, seniors who keep working have far fewer health problems than those who retire early, thereby saving the nation millions of dollars in Medicare claims.

They are also great savers who add significantly to the investment capacity of the nation. They don’t want their money to run out if they live well into their eighties and be forced to go back onto a pension at great cost to the nation, as happens to many retirees right now.

Oh for some enlightenment out there in the workplace where the playing fields are not level.