On 5th September, GAROP organised a webinar on ‘The Right to Work and Access to the Labour Market in Older Age’ in partnership with the International Federation on Ageing. This focus area of older people’s rights is one of those that will be discussed for the first time in the substantive debates at the 11th session of the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing in New York in April 2020.  The UN has now issued its call for written submissions on this focus area from Member States and accredited National Human Rights Institutions and NGOs.

You can hear a recording of the webinar here.

You can access the presentation slides here.

Nena Georgantzi from AGE Platform Europe and the GAROP Steering Group moderated the session.

Consuelo Moreno from Fundacion Oportunidad Mayor was the panelist and she presented the situation in Chile regarding the national and regional legal framework on these issues and some of the key barriers faced by older people in claiming this right. This included:

  • Older women’s labour force participation is lower than for older men.
  • Two thirds of older people worked because of financial needs, but most said that they would want to work even if they did not have to for financial reasons.
  • As people age they are increasingly less likely to be a salaried employee and more likely to be an employer or self-employed.
  • The Chilean constitution enshrines the freedom to work and non discrimination, however it is not explicit about age. Age discrimination is prohibited in the Chilean Labour Code, however, this is often not implemented and age discrimination frequently occurs.
  • Chile has ratified the Inter-American Convention on Protecting the Human Rights of Older Persons and this provides strong and specific legal protections for older people in the right to work and the labour market.
  • However, normative barriers persist. For example, the minimum wage for those over 65 is 25% lower than the rest of workers over 18. Greater flexibility is also needed.
  • Older people also risk losing their Base Solidarity Pension if they work, which pushes some older people into informal, insecure work on the black market.
  • Some of the challenges that need to be addressed include the removal of regulatory barriers, tackling ageism, supporting digital literacy, supporting entrepreneurship, adequate search and recruitment, practices, retirement preparation programmes and job reconversion support.
  • Some progress and results of advocacy include the removal of age limits in training and certification and a new state program ‘Experiencia Mayor’ to promote the recruitment of people over 60 with a monetary subsidy and the opportunity for training.

You can access information about all of GAROP’s past webinars here.