Working for Longer is Good for Australia – Human Rights Commission
23 November 2015 at 11:26 am
Keeping older people working for longer would be good for Australia, according to the country’s Age Discrimination Commissioner.
Speaking at an event hosted by the IRT Foundation, the first organisation to sign a Mature Workforce Initiative Statement of Intent with the Human Rights Commission, Commissioner Susan Ryan AO said Australia’s ageing population created “challenges”.
"The longevity revolution means that more Australians are living longer," Ryan said.
"This presents challenges that create an opportunity to extend the working life of all Australians.
"Many people are living for 30 years after retirement, so helping over 50s to continue paid work for longer benefits their physical, mental and financial health, and ultimately helps the nation.”
IRT Group CEO, Nieves Murray, said the organisation was working to change perceptions about mature age workers to improve choice and quality of life for over 50s and to capitalise on Australia's booming ageing population.
"As a seniors' lifestyle and care provider, IRT understands that older Australians want greater choice about how they live their lives, and that includes the choice to continue paid work," Murray said.
"The problem is, many people in their 50s can't find suitable paid work or don't realise they can combine retirement living with part-time or casual work."
In her National Press Club address in September, Ryan urged policymakers to adapt to Australia's demographic shift.
"The nation's birth rate is not keeping pace with the retirement of the baby boomer generation," she said.
"We have fewer people of traditional working age and more pressure on government pension, health and aged care spending."
Murray announced that the IRT Foundation and the Human Rights Commission were also collaborating on an intergenerational job-share initiative and a career check-up program for over 50s.
"We are passionate about this issue and will continue to advocate on behalf of mature age workers as part of our work to help seniors achieve their optimum quality of life," she said.