A government move to incentives employers to hire people over 50 is progressive and will benefit society as a whole, A Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Tom Neville, member of the Business Enterprise and Innovation Committee of the Oireachtas, has previously highlighted the barriers for older people returning to work and has welcomed a new Government plan to refocus the JobsPlus scheme, making the higher rate of the JobsPlus employer subsidy of €10,000 available to employers who hire people over 50 years of age who have been unemployed for more than a year.
Jobsplus is a cash incentive to employers who offer full-time jobs to the long-term unemployed.
Speaking about the development Deputy Neville said: “Incentivising employers to hire people over 50 is something for which I have been calling for a long time and I am delighted to see my colleague the Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty, moving forward with this.
“During my time working as a recruitment professional, I saw older people discriminated against in the workplace countless times.
“Specifically there are barriers to older people who want to re-enter the work force. Often older people have a perception they are too senior or they won’t fit into the work culture of a younger team.
“Discrimination against older people is resulting in experienced people leaving the workforce without passing on vital knowledge and skills to younger generations.
“There is often a stigma that people in their fifties, who are out of work, are waiting it out until retirement. I think this mindset needs to be changed and it is something I raised in the Dáil. We need to promote a positive perception and image of older people in the workforce.
“Ireland has one of the youngest populations in the European Union so this can be a particular problem here.
Apart from experience, older people can bring an emotional maturity and expertise of different industries to their job. If properly utilised this untapped resource could bring untold benefits to the Irish economy and society so this new incentive policy from Minister Doherty is extremely welcome.
“Continuous education and training are also going to be very important as we incentivise employers to take on older people.
“The Positive Ageing 2016 national report shows that for those in the 50+ age category, the employment rate is 63%. It is increasing and I hope to see it continuing to rise with this progressive new Government policy, particularly given that we are only a few percentage points away from full employment in the State.”