Older people are some of the best and most reliable workers, and employers need to change their attitudes and welcome them in to their workforce, or keep them if they already have them.
That’s the message to the ‘ Older Workers and Business Growth ‘ Business Strategy Forum in Sydney today, where more than 90 CEO’s, HR managers and recruitment personnel from a wide range of companies and organisations operating in Australia have gathered to talk with the Age Discrimination Commissioner, Hon. Susan Ryan, and economic and employment experts.
“This forum is one of the most important meetings for business this year ” said Ian Yates , Chief Executive of COTA Australia, the peak body for older Australians.
“From now on to be sustainable and successful businesses are going to have to retain and recruit older workers, and for too many employers this requires a change of attitude, ”Mr Yates said.
“We can strengthen the laws that already outlaw age discrimination in the workplace, but the real challenge is for businesses to have policies and processes in place that remove any trace of ageism in their workforce practices.
“Some companies already do it very well, but too many don’t, and we hope after today more CEO’s will spread the word about the value and necessity of employing older Australians.
“This forum is about helping those who make recruitment decisions understand the many very real benefits of employing older workers and then acting in the interests of both mature workers and their business.
“In general, older Australians are significantly more productive than their younger counterparts, have fewer sickies, a better safety record, and lower turnover.
“These benefits, together with their experience and reliability, makes them extremely valuable workers. This is why age discrimination doesn’t make sense.
“We hope the business leaders who have gathered in Sydney today for this forum will now take positive steps towards stopping age discrimination and give all older Australians a fair go in their workplace.”