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Working well, working wisely: keeping our older workforce healthy

The Australian workforce is changing as a result of an ageing population, with people living longer, and working longer. In fact, by 2060 half of all men, and four in ten women aged 64 or older, will still be employed.

To address this shift, government policies are changing, including extending the pension age to 70 by 2035 and boosting employment participation and superannuation savings for those most likely to need the age pension such as women and low paid workers.

However, this increase in older workers will also create challenges for the workplace. For example, employers and managers will need to understand how to help older employees work longer, and what sorts of jobs will be feasible.

What will an ageing workforce mean for your workplace? What things are you already doing, and what support would you like? The Australian National University, in partnership with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ), is conducting a survey of what work related policies are needed to help managers and workplaces adapt to an ageing workforce.

The survey is part of a study aimed at making Australia's intergenerational workforce policy agenda successful and fair. Specifically, this survey is trying to understand:

  • how ready and able Australian workplaces are to adapt policies and procedures to meet the health and age-related needs of older workers
  • what support workplaces need to encourage productivity and older worker employment.

Your participation in this study will provide valuable input about your workplace's readiness for an increase in older employees. Just 10 to 15 minutes of your time will help us develop practical and successful methods to design and help create age-friendly, healthy workplaces and service supports.

The study is being led by the Australian National University in partnership with WHSQ. It is part of a wider partnership with federal and state work health and safety regulators.

All your responses to the survey will be anonymous and secure. All information collected is kept strictly confidential and will only be available to the research team. The responses will be de-identified and then aggregated into a summary report.

The survey opens in June – if you are interested in participating, email workingwell.rsph@anu.edu.au

If you're keen for more insights into the future of work, Safe Work Australia has partnered with CSIRO's Data61 to produce a new report that discusses the impact of emerging trends on WHS and workers' compensation in Australia over the next 20 years.

Workplace Safety Futures explores the many WHS and workers' compensation challenges and opportunities presented by digital technologies, including automation and artificial intelligence, within the broader context of Australia's ageing workforce and rising levels of stress and chronic disease.

Further information

The report is now available on the Data61 website.

Last updated
30 April 2018

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