Ageism is alive and well in the jobs market

YourLifeChoices members tell how older job-seekers get a raw deal.

ageism

Ageism is alive and well in the jobs market, according to YourLifeChoices members.

Yesterday, we detailed an Anglicare Australia’s report, which found employment services were failing older Australians, and YourLifeChoices member Aileen told how she was struggling to both find a job and negotiate the government agencies set up to ‘help’ her.

A study by the University of South Australia's Centre for Workplace Excellence backs up ageism in the workplace. It found that if you lose your job past the age of 50, you are in the hardest age bracket to find work again as a result of age discrimination.

One-third of people aged over 50 who were surveyed said they had experienced age discrimination when applying for work.

The study followed the 2016 Willing To Work Inquiry by the Human Rights Commission which found the average length of time job seeking for those unemployed over 55 was 68 weeks, compared to 49 weeks for those aged 25 to 54 and 30 weeks for 15 to 24-year-olds.

What you said after reading Aileen’s account …

Part of the reason for these problems was raising the pension age to 67. This has reduced the opportunities for anyone unemployed to find work. Also job search allowance is too low, much less than a pension. Dave R

I was retrenched at 60 after working casually at the same job for eight years and received no payout. I have worked all my life. I haven't been able to find a job for over three years, even though I have applied for hundreds, got interviewed for jobs I am perfect for, and knocked back. There is absolutely discrimination against older people! Tzuki

In most cases these ‘employment’ agencies are a waste of time and the money that is funding them. Typical of a society where people in work cannot possibly relate to the problems faced by those affected by job loss – especially in the more senior years. Thoughtful

The entire job seeker system is corrupt. jackie

Expecting to find a job at 65 is a bit of an ask. Cowboy Jim

Job agencies have a vested interest in keeping people on their books, especially older people, as they get paid more for them. Old Geezer

It was a mistake to replace the CES with job network providers. Like private training companies to replace TAFE, they are just in it for the money. Sundays

Unfortunately, if over 60 they just don’t care. I have no super as I raised family, supported husband through a few work-related injuries and had no opportunity to gain employment in our small town. Now hubby on [disability pension] and I am faced with applying for Newstart and told “apply”. Not just search for jobs. How does one do that as all jobs ask for recent work history, qualifications and references? jennyc355

I started work at 16 (now 71) and worked all my life except for a few years when my children where young. When I was 61, I unfortunately had to leave my employment due to health reasons (which Centrelink didn't recognise) … I spent many a day in tears dealing with Centrelink and its offshoots … I eventually found casual work myself missmarg

I was on Newstart for four years (61-65), had to do voluntary work for 15 hours a week but had to give that up when I got breast cancer for the second time, and in all that time, I never received any offers of work, except for one 10-week contract. I applied for hundreds of jobs, and only had three interviews in all that time. vinradio

As so many [members] here have come up against ageism and the Government, it seems to be time for something drastic. Write (not email) to the PM’s office and insist that as he wants you to work but no one else does, then you must be given a job in a government department. Centrelink would be a good start. Triss

There's only been twice in 35 years of working that I have had to access these so-called employment agencies. They did not assist me in any way. Ted Wards

 

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    COMMENTS

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    25th Oct 2018
    12:01pm
    This has summed up the Aged Pension should be 60.
    MICK
    25th Oct 2018
    9:36pm
    But then the bastards could not make you apply for 20 (?) jobs a week or be thrown off Newstart. This is a game. They say get off your lazy behinds and apply for work when there are few jobs available.
    Over 50? That dooms most in this group to guaranteed unemployment. Even people with skills way in advance of their younger peers.

    As I keep saying the retirement community needs TO BAND TOGETHER and boycott ANY business which seeks to marginalise us. Your choice folks.
    Joy Anne
    25th Oct 2018
    12:08pm
    Totally agree. If you are over 50 forget about getting another job. At 60 not a chance. Therefore for people over 60 the pension should start for these people. If the Politian's can take their pension and entitlements from 60 why not the Australian people.
    Spud
    25th Oct 2018
    12:31pm
    I scraped in to the aged pension at 65 by 3 days under the rules . My wife is 3 yrs younger ,not in great physical health ,type one diabetes ( she does not have an easy time with it) . We have an investment that brings in less than$500 a month and I get a part pension as one of a couple . We survive by good management and when we get a conglomeration of bills all at once we dip into our savings . I love my wife and I would never subject her to the self deprecating effect of applying for jobs that don’t exist for her after being out of the workforce for so long raising our children . The lucky country? As an immigrant I say it is but more lucky for those who rule us .
    Old Geezer
    25th Oct 2018
    12:38pm
    I get asked regularly if I know anyone that wants a job. I sometimes help people out that cant get anyone to help them. I can still mow lawns and do gardening work. I also do jobs like driving people to airports and doctors appointments too.
    patti
    25th Oct 2018
    5:23pm
    I would hate to be in the workforce now, so many unrealistic expectations - they want you available 24/7 and can call you in at any time. No paid holidays or sick days. And often treated really badly. No thanks. So glad I don't have to try and survive on Newstart though, you couldn't live on it
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2018
    10:19am
    Youth allowance I a lot less.
    bobm
    1st Nov 2018
    7:09pm
    Nothing surprises me. My wife had to have 15 points to get an invalid pension. She was able to get 10 points with Blood pressure. Another 5 points was required. Arthritis in the hands and feet would give the additional 5 points. Went thro the process, went to Centrelink medical firm who confirmed arthritis, faxed the report to Bunbury Centrelink. A check by her at Bunbury. Bunbury advised they did not receive the fax. She HAD TOO CHASE up the fax. Their (Centrelink Medical exam) would not do anything. Centrelink advised for her to start the process from start with her doctor. The doctor refused and as pointed out Centrelink medical to Centrelink Office was screwed up by them.
    I did discuss their incompentance, mainly it was their two Offices that screwed it up and for them to chase the fax up not us. In the end," sign on for Newstart", however you don't have to look for a job. She had only 12 months to go for the aged part pension.
    CENTRELINK SAVED OVER $100/ FORTNIGHT WITH NOT PAYING OUT A DISABILITY PENSION. I don't take the word from Centrelink even when I go into the see them. I ALWAYS ASK FOR A COPY OF WAS PUT ON THE FILE. I LOOK THEM IN THE EYE AND ADVISE" I DON NOT TRUST WHAT YOU SAY" . Everything I do, I keep a paper trail to ensure I didn't make the mistake.
    Jennifer
    3rd Dec 2019
    7:13pm
    Age discrimination is alive and well. I worked in marketing but unfortunately had cancer at 57 years of age and had to take a month's sick leave, but kept working from home as my employer requested. After that could only do part time for the same employer, which was intended to be for a period of 4-5 months only, after that would be back to full time employment with the same employer. But my employer deliberately made it impossible for me to continue working for her, caused me so much stress and I resigned eventually. I still have over 100 job applications and resumes done over a 12 months period, that I customised to suit various job ads, was called for quite a few job interviews, BUT as soon as agencies/would be employers saw that I was an "older worker", I never heard from them again. Very disheartening, and I didn't get a pension because my husband was working at the time. So much for age discrimination, yet they will employ people who don't have experience, lack professional courtesy and most times, rely solely on technology so they are lost when technology breaks down!
    Jennifer
    3rd Dec 2019
    7:13pm
    Age discrimination is alive and well. I worked in marketing but unfortunately had cancer at 57 years of age and had to take a month's sick leave, but kept working from home as my employer requested. After that could only do part time for the same employer, which was intended to be for a period of 4-5 months only, after that would be back to full time employment with the same employer. But my employer deliberately made it impossible for me to continue working for her, caused me so much stress and I resigned eventually. I still have over 100 job applications and resumes done over a 12 months period, that I customised to suit various job ads, was called for quite a few job interviews, BUT as soon as agencies/would be employers saw that I was an "older worker", I never heard from them again. Very disheartening, and I didn't get a pension because my husband was working at the time. So much for age discrimination, yet they will employ people who don't have experience, lack professional courtesy and most times, rely solely on technology so they are lost when technology breaks down!
    Unknown
    25th Jan 2020
    12:59am
    The biggest scandal against the matured job-seekers is the government's sponsored employment service providers. My Employment Adviser, when requested to help improving my LinkedIn profile, asked me WHAT IS LINKED IN? She is unable to draft a simple letter correctly. I have been told to search for job myself as they can help only for process work and forklift driving jobs.
    Supporting to the suggestion to boycott the business marginalising the matured age workers, I think, we should make a public forum highlighting stories of discrimination at any stage of recruitment with the name of the organisation. This will at least reducing hypocrisy from the society.
    If the government really wants more aged people to remain in workforce, why most government departments recruit only fresh graduates. The approach and practice of graduate programs could be challenged, the basis clearly being the age and not the merits. The reputed recruitment agencies work with unwritten criterion about the age range for every job. I am sure, most qualified and experienced matured age job-seeker would have experienced discrimination, ignorance, insult and a feeling of being unwanted. I am convinced now, after remaining without any sustainable remunerative occupation for nearly 7 years, what a friend running a successful business told at the time that "getting another job now should be considered a million dollar lottery."


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