Helping aged care providers support their mature aged employees

Based in Adelaide, Aged and Community Services (ACS) is a not-for-profit industry association recognised nationally for its knowledge, influence and expertise in the aged care sector. The association acts on behalf of a wide range of South Australian and Northern Territory community care, home support, retirement living and residential providers; lobbying local, state and federal levels of government.

With over 27.2% of employees in the Australian aged care industry aged over 55 years and employed part-time on a permanent basis*, ACS identified a need to understand further the increasing maturing workforce challenges faced by employers in the industry, and to develop resources to help employers manage these challenges.

ACS engaged workplace relations specialists SageCo to interview a number of aged care providers regarding ageing workforce challenges they were facing. From these interviews, SageCo found aged care employers could benefit from a deeper understanding and application of flexible work practices; to both improve return to work rates and reduce mature age employees workplace stress and injury rates. SageCo went on to hold ‘Mature Workers Matter’ workshops with HR and WHS managers from each interviewed provider.

From these workshops, the Mature Workers Matter tool kit evolved, featuring strategies for redesigning job roles to be more supportive of mature aged employee abilities, workforce age profile development kits, and conversation methods for discussing flexible work practices with employees.

The Mature Workers Matter tool kit is available here.

The Mature Workers Matter tool kit has been used by a number of aged care providers in a wide variety of projects, with these case studies available here.

* 2012 National Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey, conducted by the National Institute of Labour Studies (NILS)

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