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Older Workers Case Management

Older Workers Case Management

"The elimination of the work test exemption for those aged 55 to 59 will not necessarily help mature workers seeking employment and may introduce additional barriers to positive ageing" says Garth Taylor, Chief Executive of Age Concern New Zealand.

"It is well documented that mature work seekers face discrimination from employers when job hunting" Mr Taylor went on to say.

"Mr Mahareys announcement of the decision to move to more active case management of older workers to enable increased support and job focused assistance is a step in the right direction.

"However it is disappointing to see the low priority that has been placed on undertaking work with employers to promote the benefits of hiring older job seekers. By focusing on the personal skills of the job seeker without an equal focus on shifting the ageist attitudes of employers Mr Maherey is sending all the wrong signals and their attempt at supporting positive ageing is doomed to fail.

"The placing of more onerous work test requirements on mature job seekers is unhelpful at best and at worst may actually increase the barriers and stress experienced by these job seekers.

Age Concern New Zealand invites Mr Maharey and his Ministry officials to commence consultation with older persons groups so that the implications of this policy change can be better considered.

Mr. Taylor finished by stating "Perhaps there is an opportunity for Work & Income to employ some of those older, long term unemployed as case managers who will fully understand the discrimination in the workplace that is faced by those over the age of fifty five? This would fulfil part of Government's stated actions in the Positive Ageing Strategy".

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