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Human resource costs and benefits of maintaining a mature‐age workforce

Libby Brooke (Centre for Work and Ageing, Swinburne University, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 1 May 2003



The global trend of an ageing workforce and government policy directions towards reversing early retirement trends raises the issue of the costs to employers of an older workforce. Data on older workers human resources costs are lacking generally in Australia and other countries. This analysis of human resource costs and benefits relies on aggregate Australia national human resources benchmarking data that are applied to older workers. The study is based on the ratio of duration of employment of older workers compared to younger workers and uses this ratio as a multiplier of human resource costs. The analysis considers recruitment, training, absenteeism and work injuries of older compared to younger workers. The analysis found that net benefits occurred through recruitment and training benefits over the costs of absenteeism and work injuries. Further non‐quantified benefits of older workers identified in international case studies are also explained. These quantified and non‐quantified benefits of older workers suggest that identified positive inducements to employers exist which support human resources investments in older workers.



Brooke, L. (2003), "Human resource costs and benefits of maintaining a mature‐age workforce", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 260-283.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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