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Guide Shows How Smart Businesses Retain Older Workers

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Equal Employment Opportunities.jpg
Equal Employment Opportunities.jpg

3 September 2008 - Smart organisations are redesigning work to retain older workers, according to a new guide for New Zealand employers wanting to recruit and retain mature employees.

The guide, Valuing Experience: a practical guide to recruiting and retaining older workers, provides information both on older worker's rights and responsibilities and tips for employers.

It also includes best practice examples from major New Zealand companies who are trying to reduce burnout and injuries to older workers while retaining their experience.

Genesis Energy, for example, uses the technique of pairing younger maintenance people with older engineers so younger workers can learn from the older employee's experience, while doing more of the heavy work.

Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Dr Judy McGregor said the guide had been produced in response to demand from business and older workers themselves.

"Currently almost a quarter of New Zealand's workforce is in the 50-64 years age group and the number of workers over 65 years was 65,000 in 2006. This is projected to increase to 105,000 in 2011 and to 160,000 in 2021 so we need to get better at employing older workers," she said.

"Employers want information about how to recruit and retain older workers and employees want to know what their rights are. New Zealand business needs to know more about the retirement and work intentions of mature employees and the guide helps them do this."

It is based on the experience of several major New Zealand employers who participated in a year long project identifying and addressing older worker issues.

The guide covers positioning organisations to effectively employ older workers and provides information on the key dimensions of recruiting and retaining older workers, work design, job structure, effective supervision, managing performance, training and development and motivation and rewards.

The new resource was produced by a group comprising the Human Rights Commission, the Retirement Commission, the EEO Trust, Business New Zealand, the CTU and the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce.

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