The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (the department) commissioned this qualitative research project to gain insights into supporting small businesses to employ mature age workers. This involved working with 15 small businesses to explore what interventions might make them more willing to consider employing mature age workers. The businesses that took part in the research were from the care, hospitality, and wholesale and retail industries, and were based in regional and metropolitan locations across Australia.
The research found that targeted awareness-raising strategies could increase mature age employment in small businesses and that the most effective interventions were short fact sheets, tailored support and good news stories from the same sectors.
Initially, all participating employers held some positive views of mature age workers. However, through taking part in the project, most realised that they had some preconceived assumptions and had been inadvertently missing mature age individuals in their recruitment practices.
The department will continue to develop and refine resources for small businesses to support mature age employment and age diversity in the workforce. This includes providing tailored support and easy access to these tools, as well as continued engagement and connection between the department and small businesses.
The department is committed to supporting the employment of mature age workers through providing tools, resources and programs to help them on their employment journey, while also providing businesses with the tools and strategies to attract mature age workers to their roles.
The full report is available on the Mature Age Hub along with other information and resources to support mature age employment such as the DIAD presentation, Increasing small business engagement with older workers.