Eastern Melbourne Councils shine spotlight on ageism in workplace

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Yarra Ranges Council is shining a spotlight on age discrimination in the workplace.

Mayor of Yarra Ranges, Cr Fiona McAllister, said reports show that age discrimination in the workplace is very common and potentially increasing.

“We are shining a spotlight on this issue as part of a broader campaign to tackle ageism across the region in conjunction with six other councils and the Inner East Primary Care Partnership,” Cr McAllister said.

“Ageism is stereotyping, discrimination and mistreatment based solely on a person’s age. It is fuelled by negative attitudes and beliefs about what it means to be older.

“Ageism in the workplace comes from these same false beliefs and incorrect perceptions that older people have less to offer than younger people.

“A survey conducted by the Australian HR Institute with the Australian Human Rights Commission found that up to 30% of employers are reluctant to hire workers over a certain age, and that age was 50 for more than two thirds of the survey group.

“An inquiry by the Australian Human Rights Commission found that negative beliefs and stereotypes of older workers led to discriminatory workplace behaviours during recruitment and in decisions about training, promotions and retirement.

“This type of discrimination in the workplace has a major impact on older people, including financial, physical and mental affects. According to the ABS, not being able to get a job is one of the highest personal stressors for people aged 45 to 84.”

Cr McAllister said raising this important issue will increase awareness of ageism in the workplace and start the conversation among the many fantastic businesses in our region.

“I think we all agree that workers should be treated equally and hired, fired, promoted and rewarded based on their ability to do the job, not their age,” Cr McAllister said.

The campaign is called Tackling Ageism Together: EveryAGE Counts in Melbourne’s East, and is coordinated by the Inner East Primary Care Partnership with support from the Victorian Government.

The seven councils involved are Boroondara, Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Monash, Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges.

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