Australian employer usage of the practice of offering reduced working hours to workers close to retirement: Extent and determinants

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Abstract

Aim:

This study aimed to determine factors associated with the implementation by employers of the practice of offering reduced working hours for workers nearing retirement.

Methods:

Data came from a survey of 2000 employers of more than 50 employees each (30% response rate).

Results:

A minority (33%) of employers offered reduced working hours to older workers nearing retirement. Factors associated with offering reduced working hours were: expecting workforce ageing to cause a loss of staff to retirement; being a large employer; being a public/not-for-profit sector employer; not experiencing difficulties recruiting labourers; having a larger proportion of workers aged over 50; experiencing national competition for labour; not experiencing difficulties recruiting machinery operators/drivers; not expecting workforce ageing to increase workplace injuries; and experiencing difficulties with the quality of candidates.

Conclusion:

A minority of employers were found to offer reduced working hours to those nearing retirement. Factors associated with their propensity to do so included industry sector, size of employer, concerns about labour supply and the effects of workforce ageing.

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