Mature aged people
Employees are an investment for any business. Hiring a mature aged worker can be a great investment, bringing many years of experience and knowledge.
Advantages of employing mature aged workers
Mature aged workers have often built up knowledge and skills during their time in the workforce, so they can help you to:
- look at your business operations from a different perspective
- improve your business processes
- fill any skill or knowledge gaps in your workplace
- provide mentoring to less experienced employees
- train up your employees by sharing skills.
There is evidence that mature aged workers can:
- save you money due to lower rates of absenteeism
- make your business more productive
- help you learn and adjust to new technologies in the workplace.
It makes good business sense to consider hiring more mature aged workers. Over the next 10 years, as the Australian population ages, we'll see:
- a decreasing number of young people entering the workforce
- an increasing number of older workers staying into the workforce.
If your business welcomes mature aged workers, you'll be seen as a more attractive employer to a growing proportion of the workforce.
It’s unlawful to disadvantage employees and job seekers in any way because of their age.
To make sure you have a discrimination-free workplace, and you understand your rights and responsibilities as an employer, check out:
- the Age discrimination fact sheet for employers on the Australian Human Rights Commission website
- our equal opportunity and diversity page.
Preparing your workplace
Take advantage of the fact that many mature aged workers have a lot of experience and skills! Any employee will feel more motivated if they're given the opportunity to:
- use their specific skillset
- mentor and share their skills with other employees.
Before they start, take the time to list key tasks in your business and consider which are suited to delegating to mature aged workers. You could give them full responsibility for some tasks in your business, easing your own workload. If you have less experienced employees, you could consider handing over training and supervising duties to your mature aged workers.
It’s also a good idea to offer flexible working arrangements to mature aged workers so they can juggle their family and work commitments.
Financial support & programs for employers
As an employer, you can access a range of tools and programs to help you employ mature aged workers. If you employ a mature age worker, you may also be eligible for financial support from the government.
Check out the Department of Employment's:
- Investing in Experience Tool Kit - a practical guide to employing people over 45 years of age.
- Restart Wage Subsidy - financial assistance to employers who employ and retain job seekers aged 50 years and over.
Search our Grants & Assistance for more government support for your business.
The Restart Programme
The Restart programme offers a wage subsidy of up to $10 000 (including GST) to eligible employers of mature age job seekers. The job seekers must:
- be 50 years of age or older
- have been unemployed and receiving income support for six months or more.
How does it work?
Payments are made in four, six-monthly instalments.
To receive the full payment, a business must employ the same employee for at least 30 hours per week for an ongoing period of two years.
There isn’t a restriction on the number of Restart wage subsidies for a business, but you can only receive one subsidy for each mature age job seeker you employ.
Don’t need a full time employee? The Restart wage subsidy can also be claimed on a pro rata basis if you hire a mature age worker part time, for at least 15 hours a week.
As an employer, you can choose to spend the payments on anything you need to grow your business, such as training or new equipment!
What types of jobs can be offered?
The mature age worker must start in the position on or after 1 July 2014 and the position must:
- involve at least 15 hours per week of work
- meet minimum standards for employment according to Commonwealth, state or territory law
- not already receive any other Government wage subsidies, with the exception of the Tasmanian Jobs Programme
- not be commission-based, subcontracting or self-employment
- not be for an immediate family member
- not take a job away from an existing employee
- be ongoing.
Am I an eligible employer?
To be an eligible employer for the Restart programme, you must:
- have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
- have not previously received a Restart wage subsidy for the same job seeker
- not be a Commonwealth, state or territory government agency.
Where can I find more information?
- Refer to the Restart wage subsidy for more information about Restart and the benefits of employing mature age workers, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Have a look for other business assistance programmes in our Grant & Assistance tool.