Cabinet Social Wellbeing Committee Minute SWC-21-MIN-0135

Cabinet Social Wellbeing Committee

Minute of Decision

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Older Workers Employment Action Plan: Release of Consultation Draft

Portfolio  Seniors 

On 22 September 2021, the Cabinet Social Wellbeing Committee (SWC):

    1. noted that in August 2019, Cabinet approved the Employment Strategy, which provides for population employment action plans for disadvantaged groups in the labour market, including older workers [CAB-19-MIN-0385];
    1. noted that while older workers are less likely than other age groups to be underutilised, the impact of disadvantage on some older workers can be severe and long-lasting;
    1. noted that the ageing of the population and workforce presents an opportunity to realise substantial economic benefits by better utilising and valuing older workers, particularly in sectors and regions with relatively older labour forces;
    2. noted that the Older Workers Employment Action Plan consultation draft, attached under SWC-21-SUB-0135 (the consultation draft)
      • sets out a framework for addressing labour market disadvantage for older workers – both as an issue impacting the wellbeing of specific older workers, and as a challenge for the labour market as a whole;
      • provides possible areas to explore actions to better respond to older workers’ needs in the labour market;
    1. noted that further funding may be sought through future Budget processes for actions included in the consultation draft, particularly where these involve changes to Ministry of Social Development employment services or expansion of eligibility to existing such services;
    1. noted that expectations of interventions targeting older workers could be raised as a result of the release of the consultation draft;
    1. approved the release of the consultation draft for targeted public consultation;
    1. authorised the Minister for Seniors to make minor editorial, design and formatting changes to the consultation draft as required prior to its release;
    1. noted that the Minister for Seniors intends to report back to SWC in February 2022 with the results of consultation and a final Older Workers Employment Action Plan
    1. noted that following the release of the final Older Workers Employment Action Plan, a framework for monitoring implementation progress, including indicators to assess labour market outcomes for older workers, will be developed;
    1. noted that the Older Workers Employment Action Plan in subsequent years will evolve under the guidance of the Employment, Education and Training Ministers Group, and in response to progress monitoring of the data indicators;
    1. noted that progress on the Older Workers Employment Action Plan will also inform reports to the Better Later Life Ministerial Steering Group, in line with its current focus on employment within the first Action Plan to implement the Better Later Life Strategy;
    1. noted that Ministers will be responsible for specific action areas identified in the Older Workers Employment Action Plan that fall within their portfolio

Rachel Clarke Committee Secretary


Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Hon Grant Robertson

Hon Kelvin Davis

Hon Dr Megan Woods

Hon Carmel Sepuloni (Chair)

Hon Andrew Little

Hon Nanaia Mahuta

Hon Kris Faafoi

Hon Peeni Henare

Hon Willie Jackson

Hon Jan Tinetti

Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall

Hon Aupito Williams Sio

Hon Meka Whaitiri

Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan

Officials present from:

Office of the Prime Minister

Office of the SWC Chair

Officials Committee for SWC

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