A $1000 reward will be put on the head of older workers, with businesses paid a bounty to hire over-50s.
The federal government will offer the cash to up to 10,000 businesses if they employ someone 50 or older and keep them for more than three months. Treasurer Wayne Swan said last night the policy aimed to give older Australians extra financial security in their later years.
“Older Australians have built up a lifetime of skills and experience and, if these Australians want to stay in the workforce, we should do everything we can to help that happen,” Mr Swan said.
“Many senior Australians will prefer a quiet and well-earned retirement but many prefer to stay connected to the workforce and this initiative will help them do just that.”
The Jobs Bonus, available from July 1 and costing $10 million over four years, will form part of the government’s response today to a recent report on the economic potential of older jobseekers.
The Economic Potential Of Senior Australians last year found more older workers needed to get into the workforce but that age discrimination was often a barrier because some bosses don’t want to hire mature-aged staff.
The policy expands the government Corporate Champions program, with members of the scheme to receive priority for the $1000 payments.
Employment Minister Bill Shorten said the $1000 incentive recognised the changing demographics of our workforce, with Australians working longer and to an older age.
Mature-age participation rate exceeds world averages – except among the over-65s – but unemployed mature-age people, particularly those with limited skills, can find it difficult to re-enter the job market.
“Longer life expectancy, better health and reward for cerebral work over brawn is favouring longer years in the workforce,” Mr Shorten said.
“This will make it that much easier for companies to support jobseekers who have a lifetime of experience with which to make a valuable contribution to workplaces.”
Economic Potential Of Senior Australians review panel chair Everald Compton said the nation could only prosper if it recognised the best attributes of older people.
“We are wasting good experienced talent,” he said.