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Ageing workers an 'urgent challenge'

Bias against older workers could be costing the country billions.
Bias against older workers could be costing the country billions. Barry Leddicoat

AUSTRALIA is facing an "urgent challenge" due to its ageing population, and employers' bias against older workers could be costing billions of dollars, the national Age Discrimination Commissioner said on Wednesday.

Commissioner Susan Ryan spoke at the National Press Club, announcing she had enlisted Roy Morgan research to make a first-ever study on age discrimination in Australian workplaces.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ms Ryan told ABC Radio that the reluctance of many employers could be costing the nation's economy as much as $10 billion a year.

She said that while she could not pre-empt the study, which is yet to begin, she expected to find a "picture that will be quite frightening".

Ms Ryan also told reporters in Canberra that older workers should undergo a regular career check-up, to help them change their direction if needed and stay attractive to the job market.

She said that more than half of all complaints about age discrimination given to the Human Rights Commission were work-related.

- APN NEWSDESK

Topics:  ageing population australia discrimination economy



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