18 November 2010
Information to assist mature-age workers avoid age discrimination
The Fair Work Ombudsman has produced new educative material aimed at helping mature-age workers avoid age discrimination at work.
About 200,000 brochures highlighting the issue of age discrimination have already been distributed in metropolitan and regional areas and tens of thousands more will be circulated over the next 12 months.
Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the objective is to raise awareness among older employees of the various forms of age discrimination so they can guard against it.
Unlawful discrimination against mature-age workers can include an employer refusing to employ, promote or train someone because they are considered too old or repeatedly offering training and promotion opportunities and overtime and penalty shifts to young staff first.
Mr Campbell says every employee, regardless of how old they are, has the right to work without fear of discrimination.
“More than three million working Australians are aged 45 or older, accounting for about a third of the labour force,” he said.
“We want mature-aged workers to know what sort of behaviour constitutes unlawful age discrimination and to know they can turn to the Fair Work Ombudsman for help.
“Employers who have fair and transparent selection processes for recruitment, promotion, training and other business systems will be well placed to cultivate fair workplaces free of age discrimination.”
The Fair Work Ombudsman has information about discrimination available on its website at www.fairwork.gov.au
Employers or employees seeking assistance can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am to 6pm weekdays. Translations are available by calling 13 14 50.
Ryan Pedler, Senior Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902