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Previous Poll Analysis

Last week, we asked the following question to respondents:

The Age Discrimination Act, 2004 eradicated compulsory retirement and made age discrimination in the workplace unlawful. In your opinion, should an employer be permitted to discuss restructuring the job of an employee over 65 without fear of action being taken under federal or state discrimination law?

The results were as follows:

Yes – 71%

No – 25%

Other – 4%

A 71% majority of responses suggested that employers should be permitted to initiate the discussion, which is an interesting result considering the discrimination laws in place.

This poll result could be an indication of a perception that there are too many limitations on discussing matters of mutual interest with employees.

The opportunity to discuss available options for an employee may assist greatly for the transition into retirement, for when an employee chooses to do so. Options may include flexible working hours, different responsibilities and access to superannuation.

This discussion may also provide the opportunity for the organisation to understand the older employees plans for retirement, which they can plan around accordingly and be proactive. Awareness of intentions may assist greatly preparing for when they eventually do decide to transition into retirement.

John Boardman, iHR Australia’s Director of Workplace Relations said, “It is important when holding discussion with employees about various options, that the employee is not denied access to benefits and conditions enjoyed by other employees. One option should always be the maintenance of the status quo. Employees who feel they are being place under duress to alter their working conditions, would have grounds for claiming they have been discriminated against. Rather, the discussion would be best held as part of their personal development discussion, giving consideration as to where the employee would see their career heading, in say next five years.”


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