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Decent Work for Older Workers. Reiko Tsushima, ILO Office for Central and Eastern Europe. About the ILO. A specialised agency of the UN founded in 1919

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decent work for older workers

Decent Work for Older Workers

Reiko Tsushima,

ILO Office for Central and Eastern Europe

about the ilo
About the ILO
  • A specialised agency of the UN founded in 1919
  • “Labour is not a commodity” - a lasting universal peace can be established only if it is based upon decent treatment of working people
  • Developing and adopting International Labour Standards- 189 Labour Conventions; 201 Recommendations to date
  • Hungary has ratified 72 ILO Conventions
ilo s agenda for the 21 st century decent work
ILO’s Agenda for the 21st Century: “Decent Work”

« Promoting opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity»

- Juan SOMAVIA, Director-General, ILO

age discrimination an emerging area of concern
Age discrimination- an emerging area of concern
  • Older Workers Recommendation, 1980 (N0 162)
  • Population ageing- Increasing old age dependency ratio
    • The ratio is projected to reach 50% for the EU (27) average in 2050 (high of 58 %in Germany; low of 40 %in Ireland
  • Demographic and labour market changes leading to concerns about the financial viability of public pension systems.
  • Income security of older persons- increasing poverty among older people, especially women
  • Need to increase the LMP of older workers, and other unrepresented population- women ad youth
old age dependency ratio
Old age dependency ratio




Source Eurostat: Ratio between the total number of elderly persons of an age when they are generally economically inactive (aged 65 and over) and the number of persons of working age (from 15 to 64).

age discrimination an emerging area
Age discrimination- an emerging area
  • Slow recognition as discrimination
    • Does not define an identifiable group (such as ethnicity, gender) but rather a continuum where the diminishing of mental and physical capacity is accepted…
    • But individuals differ, as well as requirements by sector, professions differ.
  • Age discrimination legislation- an important instrument, mostly covers all ages but varies around the issue of retirement age
    • Removing mandatory retirement age, or establish a minimum retirement age
    • Ensuring equality of opportunities in access to vocational training, pay, employment security, representation, leave, etc
the gender dimension inconsistent attention to women
The gender dimension: inconsistent attention to women
  • Generally, unemployment higher for older women but…
    • Still a lot of focus on male old age discrimination as the male breadwinner/ female secondary earner notion prevails- women considered to have higher resilience to changes in working life than men
    • Women are more likely to accept low skilled / paid jobs compared to men
    • But women will be most affected:
      • as their life expectancy is longer than men
      • Lower pension accumulation due to interrupted careers
areas for concerted action
Areas for concerted action
  • More research on understanding the perceptions of employers in hiring older female
  • Awareness raising on specific qualities older workers bring to the workplace (reliability, loyalty, industry experience) and eliminating gender bias.
  • Programme designed to maintain industry experience and new skills such as computer skills may increase opportunities.
  • Enhancing job-readiness of older female unemployed such as training in job search and interview skills.
  • Entrepreneurship opportunities for older women workers