In our recent submission to the DEASP consultation on the Pathways to Work Strategy, we highlighted some of the barriers to entering the workforce that are experienced by our clients, who include older jobseekers, women, lone parents, people with disabilities, and other groups. We also provided recommendations as to how these might be addressed, including:
- Support for older workers and meaningful access to an effective remedy when discrimination occurs, as well as education to promote inter-generational understanding and cooperation are essential to addressing ageism in workplaces.
- The education of employers and employees on issues affecting older workers, including age discrimination in accessing employment, promotions and training opportunities, as well as what does and does not constitute objectively justified mandatory retirement.
- Flexible work and financial supports (including social welfare and revenue arrangements) necessary to support phased retirement.
- A pension and social welfare system that increases the possibility of economic independence and a decent standard of living for all older women.
- Acknowledgement of the value of care in the economy, together with more meaningful support for women entering the employed work force.
- Increasing flexibility in terms and conditions to accommodate parents and carers.
- Access to transport supports for people with disabilities seeking to fulfil their employment ambitions
- Concrete initiatives to introduce more disability friendly training courses
- That the DEASP prioritise raising awareness of the initiatives that are available to people with disabilities.
We also highlighted the lack of legal aid for employment and equality cases before the Workplace Relations Commission. In our view, this is a major barrier to enforcing employment rights for older jobseekers, women, lone parents, people with disabilities and others. To read our submission in full click here