Blatant discrimination against older workers: Are you seeing it?

Anti discrimination laws are being regularly breached by employers according to Human Rights Commissioner for Ageing, Susan Ryan with companies

Anti discrimination laws are being regularly breached by employers according to Human Rights Commissioner for Ageing, Susan Ryan with companies directly posting on jobs boards their desire for 18-25 year old staff.

The Courier Mail brought a number of examples to the Australian Age and Disability Commissioner who confirmed that the laws were being broken.

Examples were raised of ads on Gumtree by a Brisbane cafe, a Gold Coast Power equipment company and a printing business in the sunshine coast all requested people in the 18-25 age group.

Ms Ryan said in the article that she thought it was very bad practice and unlawful and that there was no justification for discriminating against job seekers in their 40s and 50s.

But we have to ask you today how you find it out there when looking for work? Do you find it confronting that employers are blatantly advertising roles for younger people?


  1. Fay Antaresia

    There is no way anyone can police stuff like this… is not, not going to happen. Pretty easy just for the employer to say that the person was not suitable/not what they were looking for/someone else was more suitable etc the excuses go on and on….nothing can be done about it ….but ooh they want everyone to work until they are 70 though..pollys just do not live in the real world..

  2. Leanna Stephenson

    I have a couple of older friends out of work, it has really opened my eyes to the sad situation this country is in, they prefer younger people to older employees, despite the skill they would bring to the job

  3. Kerry Sandford

    My reaction to a job which specifies age is that they obviously don’t value employees, pay them a pittance, and will get rid of them at the drop of a hat.

  4. Linda Osborne

    Yes. I was made redundant from my Admin position last year. I had been there for 20 years. I have applied for 100’s of jobs and with my references and skills you’d think I’d have at least got an answer to my applications. I have no way to prove it but I believe as soon they see I am obviously in the over 50’s age group they don’t want to know…..

    • Dawn Gillespie

      Nup, just the way it is, all about the mighty $ & profits!! A very sad indictment on today’s profit generated bosses. Karma WILL happen!!!!

    • Annette Elliott

      True depends how far back you go on the application.
      Do you realise that they are only interested in past say 5 years of work experience.
      Just to let you know majority of businesses do not apply to applications no matter what the age.

    • Glenda Draper

      Linda I know it’s because of your years of experience. What do you do? Leave off some of your experience. Bit of a catch 22 really. I have had problems too

    • Annette Elliott

      Meant to say #reply. My grand-daughter finished Grade 12 2014 and sent hundreds and I mean hundreds of applications in and I believe received about 5 replies. She had interviews and was down to final applicants and only 1 rang her and advised why did not get position – hired one with more experience but would keep her in mind. Took a casual position and after 1 year was contacted by the original business and now working full-time

    • Peter Barnes

      If you cannot find some-one to employ you, at least start to think… maybe I can start my own business… I know it’s not easy… but start thinking like that and stay POSITIVE… never give up… I have been through it all and if I can do it anyone can.

    • Linda Osborne

      Thanks Peter Barnes. I haven’t given up, still trying and yes I have thought about doing something for myself….

  5. Jean Prince

    I have a slightly different outlook on this. If you have a youth oriented product or company, then it is probable that your customers are also young and would prefer to deal with their peer age group. I know that when I go looking for products suitable to my age group, 70’s, I feel more comfortable with a mature age salesperson.

  6. Rosalind Battles

    These older workers under pension age have to survive in $280 a week until they can get the pension, rents are more than that, it is a disgrace

    • Victoria Alexandra D

      They still have to look for work or do 15 hours of community work to get Newstart in most cases. Been there, lucky I had monies to draw on too 🙁 …. hence, I’m not as comfortable financially as I thought I would be !

    • Victoria Alexandra D

      I had to draw on my superannuation to pay off my small mortgage. At least now that I’m on the age pension, it’s a bit more comfortable, at least I’m not drawing on as much of my existing funds 🙁

  7. Kathy Childs

    I have had friends who applied and the answer was they were “over qualified” which translates to me as “We don’t want to pay you for your experience”. I would think people in our age bracket would be more desirable-no childcare issues, proven work record, maturity, life experience.

    • Kathy Childs

      They should know better-you get what you pay for. Nobody wants an appointment with the cheapest doctor!

    • Dawn Gillespie

      See my note to Linda Osborne. I’ve been there & done that!! Can be very soul destroying, if you LET it, which I don’t, & don’t you either Kathy!!!

    • Annette Elliott

      Sometimes when they say overqualified they are thinking th a t this person will move on quickly and will need to re-advertise. Many positions you start at the basic wage at whatever age and it increases yearly.

    • Kathy Childs

      Except if you’ve been looking for awhile and are willing to commit. In the US they are only offered part-time so as not to pay benefits like healthcare. Over 65 we get Medicare so we don’t need that from a job.

    • Tom Tesoro

      There is a VITAL, CRITICAL QUESTION being asked at INTERVIEWS to eliminate older more experienced workers.. “How much salary were you looking for?” when YOU, a mature worker answers your market wage expectation for your experience, THEY will NOT employ you, because the OTHER younger workers will ACCEPT 30-50% less…

    • Peter Barnes

      The term ‘over qualified’ is a ‘nice term’, meant to make you feel good… ‘oh gee, I have done well’ type response… it’s a con… in the old days a person with vast experience and SUCCESS in their career would be welcomed with open arms… to be honest, I don’t really think the lights are on in the brains of many recruiters and HR people in the past 25 years…. take a real good look at our country today… is it a secure world to work in?… NO… There’s an old saying ‘You reap what you sow’… so by allowing such things as age discrimination by stealth, you now get business sourcing their work overseas… I mean, if you have decades of treating fellow Australians as finished and washed up you can do mostly anything.

    • Deborah Drinan

      peter u are so absolutely right in what you wrote – these HR and Recruitment Agencies filled with young kids with bits of paper saying they are qualified to find jobs for many – thank god I am about to walk away and never worry over working again. Fantastic feeling.

    • Kathy Childs

      Someone somewhere should understand how large the baby boomer generation is and we are healthy enough (maybe) to continue to work. As someone else pointed out we are more comfortable buying from our peers. Look how popular this page has become. Wouldn’t it be smart to have an HR agency for 55 & over – there’s an idea.

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