Law reform report on mature-age employment well received

Analysis

Law reform report on mature-age employment well received

The two peak bodies that represent human resources and recruitment professionals in Australia have given strong support to a series of law reform recommendations designed to tackle the barriers preventing the full participation of mature-age Australians in the workforce.

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The two peak bodies that represent human resources and recruitment professionals in Australia have given strong support to a series of law reform recommendations designed to tackle the barriers preventing the full participation of mature age Australians in the workforce.

Following a lengthy period of community consultation, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has released its final report: Access All Ages — Older Workers and Commonwealth Laws.

The report, commissioned by the federal Attorney-General, charged the Commission with the responsibility of reviewing obstacles to employment faced by Australians older than 45 years of age, and the desirability of reviewing Commonwealth laws to remove any limitations, disincentives or obstacles preventing their participation in the workforce.

RCSA and AHRI comments
 
In calling among its recommendations for the development of a national mature-age employment plan, the Commission made a number of specific recommendations in the areas of work health and safety, social security, superannuation, and recruitment and employment.

With respect to the 13 recommendations under the recruitment and employment heading, the report called upon the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association (RCSA) and the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) to examine their respective codes of conduct with a view to emphasising the merits of workplace diversity and the constructive engagement of mature-age job seekers. It also drew the attention of the professional bodies to relevant anti-discrimination and industrial relations laws.

The RCSA CEO, Steve Granland, applauded the Commission’s report: ‘The RCSA is currently consulting with members as part of a review of our Code for Professional Conduct and we look forward to reflecting recommendations from the ALRC report into that review. We see the report contributing to a heightened focus on the barriers to mature age participation in employment within Australia and across the oceanic region in which the RCSA operates.’

‘RCSA has also established a Workforce Participation Forum to coordinate an industry wide response and to represent the recruitment industry and RCSA members with an industry voice and perspective with Government, industry and employers. We see there are a number of opportunities and challenges to increasing participation in the workforce,’ said Granland

The AHRI chairman, Peter Wilson AM, said: ‘AHRI is undertaking a review of its code of conduct in light of the Commission’s report and will be making amendments accordingly, mindful of the Commission’s recommendations. We are also reviewing our suite of employment awards and our training offerings with a view to ensuring the maximum participation of mature age workers in the Australian workforce.’

‘AHRI sees the actions arising out of the report as contributing to a best practice benchmark in a competitive talent market, and that employers will see it in their interests to seek professionals who subscribe to that benchmark,’ said Wilson.
 
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