He tātai mahi
This plan is for people aged 50 and over who are working, or want or need to work, but experience challenges in doing so
It is important that all New Zealanders are free from discrimination and can enjoy fulfilling and secure work.
Our older population is diverse in terms of ethnicity, gender and life experience. The labour market experience of older workers ranges from very secure to tenuous. The plan is focused on people from age 50 because that’s when preparing for retirement becomes a bigger focus, age discrimination may become a significant issue, or people may not be able to continue the same kind of work they have previously done because of physical ageing or changing responsibilities in their lives.
Some older people can experience more challenges than others in preparing for, finding, and staying in fulfilling and secure work. This means they do not always have immediate or long-term financial security and may not have work that meets their physical, mental, and social needs. This action plan is focused mostly on this group
What is already underway
Better Later Life actions that will benefit older workers
The following actions in the Better Later Life Action Plan 2021 to 2024 cover employment issues for older workers.
▷ Pilot and evaluate an approach to help older entrepreneurs establish sustainable businesses.
▷ Promote the Mature workers toolkit.
▷ Lead good practice in the employment and support of older workers.
▷ Review COVID-19-response employment measures outcomes.
▷ Advise on employment service eligibility for people over 65.
▷ Research age discrimination in the workplace.
▷ Improve reporting on employment of older workers in the public service.
Other population employment action plans
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has oversight across the seven employment action plans, and leads work to identify opportunities to work together on common actions across the plans.
There are three themes across the actions included or under consideration in other population employment action plans which will particularly benefit older workers:
▷ provision of information for Human Resources professionals, employers and businesses about inclusion and diversity
▷ the public sector leading as a best practice employer
▷ better collection, reporting and sharing of data.
Ongoing work to coordinate across the employment action plans will provide for better alignment of agency work programmes, avoid duplication of actions and can help guide the Government’s labour market priorities. It will also enable wider actions that will also benefit older workers to be identified and promoted.
Other initiatives already underway that will benefit older workers
The Government is already undertaking a wide range of responses aimed at improving the operation of the labour market. Some of these are immediate responses to the economic disruption caused by COVID-19. Others are longerterm structural reforms to the labour market. All will be relevant to the labour market situation of older workers.
Reform of Vocational Education
The Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) was designed to create a unified and sustainable vocational education system. The new structure includes local vocational education providers, Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) to give industry greater leadership across vocational education, and Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLGs) to provide advice about the skills needed in their regions. People who need to retrain, including many older workers, will be prioritised.
The Careers System Strategy
The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) is working with the education sector to develop a nationwide careers system strategy to make sure professional careers guidance is available to all New Zealanders, at all stages of their career journey. The TEC will work closely with key stakeholders to make sure it is fit-for-purpose and sustainable. The strategy will consider related strategies in the education sector, such as the Tertiary Education Strategy.
Proposed New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme
The Government is proposing an income insurance scheme to further strengthen our social safety net by supporting workers to retain about 80 percent of their income for a period after they lose their jobs. This could be particularly beneficial to older workers who tend to experience longer spells of unemployment and more severe wage losses when they get back to work