Title: Discriminatory practices of older workers in an ageing residential care workforce

Authors: Catherine Earl; Philip Taylor

Addresses: Federation Business School, Federation University Australia, P.O. Box 3191, Gippsland Mail Centre VIC 3841, Australia ' Federation Business School, Federation University Australia, P.O. Box 3191, Gippsland Mail Centre VIC 3841, Australia

Abstract: Job opportunities for older workers in the residential care sector are strong so there appears to be little age discrimination against them in recruitment, but it has been recognised that in the workplace age- and gender-based stereotyping challenges the efficacy of age management and generates intergenerational issues. This article focuses on the ageing of the female-dominated workforce in an Australian residential care organisation. Firstly, it argues age-based discriminatory practices are not only directed towards older workers but may also affect younger workers. Secondly, it argues older workers are not only the victims of discrimination but may discriminate against both younger and older co-workers. In doing so, they may draw on perceptions of age, gender and other attributes, including skills, qualifications and status in the organisational hierarchy. The potential policy implications of this complexity of age prejudices in terms of labour shortages and inclusive management practices are briefly discussed.

Keywords: ageing workforce; older workers; age discrimination; gendered ageism; residential care; discriminatory practices; age management; generates intergenerational issues; female employees; Australia; women; gender; skills; qualifications; status; labour shortages; inclusive management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWI.2016.078643

International Journal of Work Innovation, 2016 Vol.1 No.4, pp.391 - 412

Accepted: 25 Sep 2015
Published online: 26 Aug 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article