Are older Australians being discriminated against in the workplace? 14

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Every year thousands of Australians over 60 say they are getting knocked back for jobs because of their age.

Some say they have applied for dozens of jobs, but can’t make anything stick and feel it is because they keep getting passed over for younger candidates.

Starts at 60 has heard stories like this in the past from audience members and now we’d like to do something about it.

We’re putting together a story about this issue and want to hear about your experiences so we can make people – the government, employers and society in general – aware of the issue.

If you think you’ve ever been knocked back from job because of your age, or you’ve been pushed out of your role to make way for someone much younger, we want to hear from you!

Leave your story in the comments below or on Facebook and share this story with your friends and family so they can talk about their experiences, too!

It’s an important issue and one that’s not talked about that often – and it’s time that changed.

Do you think you’ve ever been rejected for a job because of your age? Do you think you’ve ever lost a job because of your age?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I believe age discrimination is rife in the employment/recruitment sector, and it’s nothing new. I am 67 years old and self employed for the past 12 years. I recall having a letter published in what was then the “Herald Sun” newspaper on this very topic over 25 years ago. Nothing has changed. Recruiters choose to overlook the vast experience of older workers in favor of younger people. Which is not to say that there is no merit in that attitude, as personally, I have developed the “grumpy old man” syndrome, and do not suffer fools/idiots readily.

  2. Of cause they overlook 60 and over . I am 60 and have been recently been diagnosed with severe emphysema . What do you think my chances are now ?To scared to apply for disability drug addicts and frauds only get that .

  3. Of cause they overlook 60 and over . I am 60 and have been recently been diagnosed with severe emphysema . What do you think my chances are now ?To scared to apply for disability drug addicts and frauds only get that .

  4. Forgot to add, that I was 58 at the time! No chance for re-employment! What a joke!

  5. Absolutely discriminated against. My husband lost his job 3 years ago aged 61. After numerous interviews , to no avail, he has given up. He was getting the interviews but as soon as they saw his grey hair all his extensive experience did not count.

  6. There were about 8 men between the age of 57 and 61 who applied for several jobs becoming available in the Rail industry. They filled out their applications. Every one of them had 30 or 40 years experience doing the exact job and all of them were rejected as they “Didn’t have the aptitude to be a ….” Funny. That’s why they had to give their date of birth. That’s how 457 Visa’s are being obtained. Not because Australians don’t have the necessary qualifications and experience but because they suddenly “Don’t have the aptitude for…” It’s disgusting and so obvious the employer wants staff who don’t know the rules and are prepared to take dangerous short cuts when they’re ordered to. Other people have commented on it in other industries too.

  7. At 58 i trained to be a phlebotomist. I obtained cert 3. I done work experience and was told i was excellent for the industry.
    There were 14 in my class. I was the eldest by 10 years. They all have jobs except me. I have applied for literally over a 100 with no luck. Even my tutor wrote a reference to attatch to my resume. I am now 60. Annoyed and disappointed.
    I changed my resume by leaving out my first few jobs and the dates i was at school so my age wasnt obvious. Yay i got a couple of interviews. But they asked for photo id….which has my dob on it….guess what…sorry unsuccessful.
    Agism does exsist

  8. I was employed by a big company, my boss kept saying to me “when are you going to retire, old bag”. I ignored him for a long time until one day I was called into a meeting room , he was there with his boss and somebody from HR, the conversation went on that I was being let go because I should be home looking after my husband, it was awful, how dare they. I had been with the company just under ten years. There was no way at my age could I get another job. Disgusting that companies can treat staff like that and get away with it.

    1 REPLY
    • I had a very similar experience Vivienne. My boss used to keep asking me when I was going to retire, and a couple of indigenous staff kept asked me why I was taking up a job that someone else could have when I already had too much, until one day I had enough and left before I was pushed, but not before I had my next job lined up.

      Took them all by surprise when I did leave, as no succession plan was in place so no-one knew how to do my job !! That gave me lots of satisfaction !!

  9. last Job i had, the boss apparently told the people in the office:out with the old in with the new. he got rid of all the older staff and had younger ones replace us oldies.

  10. Age discrimination for the over 58 year old’s is very much alive and well in the work place. In most cases the application will require a license and photo ID including what you expect to earn, and when using an agency they will have your track record anyway and won’t require much else except to let you know your application was unsuccessful. When a quick phone interview takes place just to test the water with you before selection, the HR professional generally wants to know how inquisitive you are and what questions you want answered. When the person conducting the interview is the Project Manager they generally welcome questions however with agency and others it’s basically just hot wind and from that point on is all down hill and never to hear from them again. When your minister for employment is exactly a person like that, this discrimination will only continue unless people like you and me stand up and do something about it. !

  11. We have 2 employees and they are both over 60. The best workers out there!!
    We actually found it difficult to find older people to hire.
    This may have to do with it is only part time work, 18 hours per week.

  12. Employers want an “Image” and the younger might be savvy and fast………but are they reliable??? I think NOT and they cant survive more than 2 minutes without their cell phone……..Older people have the right attitude do an honest days work for an honest days pay………because they were brought up to get off their AR*E and work and be grateful for the pay at the end of the week

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