For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Discrimination, Labour Markets and the Labour Market Prospects of Older Workers: What Can a Legal Case Teach Us?"

by Weller, Sally A (2007)


As governments become increasingly concerned about the fiscal implications of the ageing population, labour market policies have sought to encourage mature workers to remain in the labour force. The `human capital' discourses motivating these policies rest on the assumption that older workers armed with motivation and vocational skills will be able to return to fulfilling work. This article uses the post-redundancy recruitment experiences of former Ansett Airlines flight attendants to develop a critique of these expectations. It suggests that policies to increase older workers' labour market participation will not succeed while persistent socially constructed age- and gender-typing shape labour demand. The conclusion argues for policies sensitive to the institutional structures that shape employer preferences, the competitive rationality of discriminatory practices, and the irresolvable tension between workers' human rights and employers' property rights.


Automation, Machines, Technology, Human Capital, Aged Work, Mature-Age Employment, Airline Industry, Discrimination, Rights, Gendered Labour, Division Of Labour, Women'S Work, Female Work


Ageing and Work

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