Hiring older workers - will the latest government scheme help?

Posted on 30 April 2012

The Federal Government has a new scheme it is implementing to encourage businesses to employ older workers. Older workers are designated as people 50 years or older. Employers will be paid $1000 if they employ an older worker for 3 months or more. Minister for Ageing, Mark Butler, says the scheme will cost $10 million over four years and says it recognises the contribution mature-aged workers can make.

The new scheme will come into place in July as part of the Jobs Bonus scheme and comes as a result of the recent “Economic Potential of Senior Australians” report. The report highlights the value of employing older people. 

Businesses considering employing older employees under the scheme should also consider the following. From research by Stephen Bastien, a US based business consultant, the following list were found to be the bonuses to business from employing older workers. He found they were reported more likely to be:-

  1. Dedicated workers who produce higher quality work
  2. Were punctual
  3. Were honest
  4. Were detail-oriented
  5. Were good listeners
  6. Had pride in a job well done
  7. Had good organisational skills
  8. Were efficient and confident to share recommendations and ideas
  9. Mature from years of life and work experience
  10. Good role models and excellent mentors
  11. In possession of good communication skills, were diplomatic and understood workplace politics
  12. Of a mindset that working for a company can be about much more than just collecting their pay each week and are shown to be very loyal

Older workers also offer something small business could find very attractive - flexibility. Not all older workers want to work full time which could suit the budget of small business well.

What are your thoughts on the Federal Government’s scheme? Do you think it will change employer’s hiring patterns or strategies?