Recent Student Abstracts...continued
Irene Mok*, Lynda R Matthews, and Kate O’Loughlin
Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney
My doctoral research examines the extent to which Australian policies on the ageing workforce have contributed to enabling workers aged 45 or above to remain at work or extend their working life. Many rehabilitation counsellors work with workers aged 45 or above and this research aims to improve workplace practices to retain and hire these workers.
Previous research on the impact of public policy on ageing workforce and age pension reforms have often focused solely on the macroeconomic simulations on anticipated work participation rates of older workers. These macroeconomic simulations often assumed older workers are completely motivated to work due to anticipated financial gains.
They also assume that older workers will always be in a condition to work until retirement age and beyond. Individual incentives to remain at work and perception of human resource policies in the workplace are not often considered. In reality, older workers' intention to remain at work is often not solely defined by anticipated financial gain and the majority of older workers actually do not or cannot work until retirement age due to health conditions, family commitments, changed needs for leisure time and career development. Furthermore, workplace human resource practices targeted at older workers are often not fully utilized by this population group.
To address the gap in research, this study will also focus on how translation of government initiatives to retain older workers need to take place at the organizational and individual levels. It will focus on stakeholder perspectives (i.e. employers, human resource professionals and older workers) on which workplace practices are effective in retaining ageing workers and the reasons why older workers choose to utilize them. It will also examine the experiences of older injured workers in the return to work process and the role rehabilitation counsellors play in improving support for them.