Myth Busting Age Discrimination At Work

Using evidence to debunk common myths and assumptions around age

Written by Professor Philip Taylor, Federation Business School, with Dr Jane O’Leary and Cathy Brown, Diversity Council Australia

The ageing of the Australian population has led to much public policy and debate around the need to prolong working lives in order reduce welfare costs and to respond to projected shortfalls in labour as large numbers of older workers retire.

While it would be a mistake to consider issues of older people’s employment solely through an age discrimination lens this issue has garnered much attention in recent years. Age discrimination is prohibited at both State and Federal levels and Australia has an Age Discrimination Commissioner.

Meanwhile, there is much attention devoted to how to manage generations at work, even though the basis for arguments concerning the existence of generational differences may not stand much scrutiny, particularly when issues of intersectionality are considered.

Finally, despite much evidence to the contrary, there remains a popular view that lowering unemployment among younger people will be achieved by older people making way. The case for promoting ‘generational solidarity’ is less often made.

To assist our member organisations, Professor Philip Taylor from Federation Business School has partnered with DCA to release a myth-buster which challenges common misconceptions around ageing and work.

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