International Day of the Older Person | Are you unlocking all segments of job seekers?


Monday, October 1 is International Day of the Older Person.

Employers all over the world are changing their view of how they define “older” employees. The Australian Human Rights Commission and the Australian HR Institute have seen a shift in how employers define “older” employees in the last two years.


In 2023, an older worker is 61-65 years of age as compared with 50-55 years of age in 2021.

“The perception of what constitutes an older worker has risen, which is good news from the point of view of both employers and employees.

Increasing longevity is forcing people to recognise they need to work for longer, and we are seeing growing willingness of employers to take on older staff,” Gerwyn Davies, research and policy specialist at the HR Institute’s fifth survey on attitudes to age among employers. 


With Queensland experiencing low unemployment rates, we have seen mature age workers either re-enter the workforce or delaying their retirement plans to continue working. This has helped some employers realise older workers have similar skills to their younger coworkers. Open minded employers are realising the benefits of employing a diverse workforce where skills and experience of different generations complement each other by providing opportunities for generational cross-skilling, mentoring and sharing alternative points of view, to allow diverse contributions at work.


With mature workers likley available to work more flexibly, employers are increasingly recognising mature workers are often reliable and committed. 

Workers staying in the workforce longer has resulted in the rise of multigenerational workplaces – we now have five generations in the workplace - and we continue to see age-related bias to exist about older and younger workers.

Each generation has its own unique contributions to the workforce, and managers can help them be more productive by understanding their values and work habits. Read Diversity Council Australia’s de-myth Age Discrimination at Work. 

When considering your workplace practices, consider Harvard Business Review’s seven principles to attract and retain older workers, and how these could be implemented in your workplace: 

  • Design respectful and purposeful roles 
  • Offer flexible schedules 
  • Pay for capability for the job, not tenure 
  • Be adaptable and be prepared to make reasonable adjustments 
  • Communicate clearly and candidly 
  • Build community and camaraderie 
  • Tackle ageism by elevating value of experience and include it in your D&I strategy  

Business Chamber Queensland's Workforce Evolve program provides employers with the tools, resources, and support to review your recruitment and retention practices so you can effectively engage more diverse sections of the labour market, such as mature workers. A diverse workforce enhances innovation, creativity and development to improve business performance and competitiveness.  


Workforce Evolve is Business Chamber Queensland's free eLearning program to help employers think differently about who you employ and how to retain them now and into the future. Designed by business for business, Workforce Evolve provides content via six online modules and includes free workforce coaching to support you to think about workplace practices differently, begin to implement change or to focus on a specific area.  

Workforce Coaches are available for a one-hour session with each module.  


Why register for Workforce Evolve? 

 With some changes in approach and the use of inclusive employment practices, Workforce Evolve will help you develop a recruitment strategy to unlock a new segment of jobseekers from groups that are under-represented in the workforce – women with family or carer commitments or escaping domestic violence, First Nations Peoples, the LGBTI community, those with disabilities, mature aged workers, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.  

The program is free, and open to any employer in Queensland.


And learn how to unlock a new segment of jobseekers. 

This project is proudly funded by the Queensland Government Workforce Connect Fund. 


Acknowledgement of Country

Business Chamber Queensland respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and custodians of the lands from across Queensland and the Torres Strait. We acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal people as the Traditional Custodians of Meanjin (Brisbane), the lands where our office is located and the place we meet, work and learn. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.