The Australian workplace is becoming more diverse, with an increasing number of older Australians working for longer.
Part of this diversity is due to the fact that Australians are now living longer and more of these years are free from severe limitations on their daily activities, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
For men, average life expectancy is approximately 79 years of age, while women can expect to live almost 84 years – and almost all these years are free of disability.
This means that older Australians often need to work longer to support themselves and save up for a retirement that is likely to last longer than in the past.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in 2008-09 there were 4.3 million Australians in the labour force aged 45 years and over and 13 per cent of these individuals said they never intended to retire.
For those who did plan on eventual retirement, the average age was 64.2 years for men and 62.5 years for women, which is in keeping with the trend of delayed retirements.
In addition, more workplaces are becoming increasingly enthusiastic about what older Australians can offer the workforce.
Research from the Diversity Council Australia (DCA) and the Human Rights Commission shows that, in particular, women aged 45 and older represent a growing segment of the labour market, making up around 17 per cent of Australia's workforce.
"Organisations focusing on older women’s employments are future-proofing their workforce and positioning their organisation for success," said DCA Chief Executive Nareen Young.
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