Australian Government Offers Bonuses for Hiring Older Workers

Australian companies which hire new workers aged over 50, for 3 months or longer, will receive £650 from the Australian Government. The idea is to combat age discrimination in the country, but may also help lower Government pension costs.

“Australia is only going to prosper if we recognise the best attributes of mature-aged Australians,” Everald Compton, the chair of a recent older worker inquiry said. “We are wasting good experienced talent by not harnessing them in every way we can.”

The new bonus scheme comes into practice on 1st July 2012. It was primarily driven by this inquiry by Compton, which concluded older workers have less time off, and stay in jobs longer, than their younger colleagues.

Many bosses in the country avoid hiring older workers from fear of incompetence, or worry that they are soon going to retire. But actually, older workers have a massive amount of experience and wisdom gained over the years, they often do a better job and are less distracted.

The Government stated that approximately 10,000 bonuses will be issued over the next four years. The estimated cost of this new initiative is $10 million Australian dollars. But the bonuses are said to be well worth it, the inquiry found that failing to draw on the experience of older workers, could be costing the Australian economy around £7 billion each year.

The problem doesn’t just lye with the bosses either. Many people aged over 50 feel uncomfortable or awkward working alongside a younger generation. Some feel resentment from their colleagues, thinking that they should step aside and let a younger worker do the job.

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