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Submission to parliamentary inquiry into WHS for mature-age work

COTA SA appreciates the opportunity to provide this submission to the Parliamentary Committee on Occupational Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation's inquiry South Australia's Ageing Workforce: Implications for Work Health and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation.

The case for mature-age employment is clear. It has been recognised, for example, within South Australia's Strategic Plan which calls for a 20 per cent rise in ageing workforce participation (on 2011 figures) by 2020. Supporting mature-age workers into work and in work has important productivity, social inclusion, and health and wellbeing outcomes.

However, there are significant barriers to the employment (paid and unpaid) of older people, such as legislation, insurance, workplace discrimination, and inflexible working arrangements. In addition to the discriminatory workers compensation retirement age, age limits exist on indemnity and insurance for volunteers. Older workers often face limited opportunities for upskilling and training, inflexibility in work arrangements and job redesign, and lack of recognition of knowledge and decision-making ability. Workers over 45 report a bias against them in recruitment, regardless of experience or qualification.

Read the full submission to parliamentary inquiry into WHS for mature-age work