Australian employers who take on an over-50 worker will be given a $1000 "jobs bonus" by the Australian government in an attempt to counter entrenched discrimination against unemployed older workers. Starting July 1st, employers will be receive $1,000 for every worker aged 50 or older that they hire and retain for at least three months.
The scheme is part of the government's response to a report,
"Realising the Economic Potential of Senior Australians".
That report found unemployed mature-age Australians face a range of barriers to re-entering the labour market, from employer attitudes to a lack of workplace flexibility and the tax and transfer system. It also found failing to harness the potential of older workers was costing the economy $10.8 billion a year.
The new scheme is mainly designed to address a prejudice against hiring older workers though it could also alleviate workforce pressures and reduce the Government's pension costs. Older workers have a wealth of experience and tend to have lower absenteeism rates.
Employment Minister Bill Shorten said the demographics of the Australian workforce is changing, and to one that is working longer and to an older age. “Longer life expectancy, better health and reward for cerebral work over brawn is favouring longer years in the workforce,” Mr Shorten said.
The bonus measure would make it easier for companies to support jobseekers who had a lifetime of experience with which to make a valuable contribution to Australian workplaces, he said.