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The quiet revolution-older workers as employees, employers, self - page 5 / 6





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Conclusions to be drawn from public policy initiatives

Much greater integration of public policies toward older workers with better links to other policy areas and greater recognition of the diverse needs of older workers

Greater emphasis on removing age barriers from existing initiatives rather than developing special schemes for older workers

Better engagement with business

Researcher Lance Gray and I have adapted Taylor’s comparative typology about the main public policies related to older workers to see how New Zealand stacks up internationally.  Here’s what it shows:

Main Public Policies Related to Older Workers

Comprehensive approach to the employment

and retirement of older workers

Australia, Finland, Japan

Removal of early retirement incentives,

and encouragement of later retirement

New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Germany,

Japan, Netherlands, USA

Abolition of compulsory retirement

New Zealand, Australia, USA

Banning of age discrimination

New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Germany,

Japan, Netherlands, USA

Gradual retirement schemes

Finland, Germany, Netherlands

Consciousness raising campaigns

Australia, Finland, Germany,


Guidance and training campaigns for

older workers

New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Germany,

Japan, Netherlands, USA

Support for employers

(advice, training, placement programmes)

Australia, Finland, Germany,

Japan, USA

Support for labour market intermediaries

(community groups)

New Zealand, Germany, USA

Employment subsidy and other

employment incentive schemes

New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Germany, Japan, Netherlands


Older New Zealanders have different work experiences and expectations to previous generations. For a start, they will live longer. In her memoir, “Slipstream”, Elizabeth Jane Howard, says ‘one of the good things about living longer is that we have more time to learn HOW to be old.” As she says: “It’s clear to me now that inside the conspiracy of silence about age-because of the negative aspects of the condition- there is the possibility of art: that is to

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