Oh Won't You Stay Just a Little Bit Longer: Changing Employers' Views of Older Workers

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Date
2011
Authors
Mountford, H.
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Publisher
National Institute of Labour Studies
Abstract
The effects of the 2009 economic downturn in Australia, followed by a comparatively rapid recovery, have seen a surprising growth in the number of older workers in employment. If this increase in older workers is the harbinger of permanent change in the labour market, it can only come about if employers modify their traditionally negative attitude towards mature employees. In the first comprehensive overview of the literature and case studies, this paper explores employers' attitudes towards older workers and finds that most of the stereotypical myths are readily overcome in the current labour market. If a labour shortage drives employers to offer more flexible working conditions as first seen in the Global Financial Crisis, they will be taken up by the largest working cohort - the baby boomers - and the problem could be largely averted.
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Citation
Mountford, H. 2011. Oh Won't You Stay Just a Little Bit Longer: Changing Employers' Views of Older Workers. Australian Bulletin of Labour, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp.164-190.