Staying at work

Mature-age workers are a growing part of the Australian workforce. There are many reasons people are staying in their jobs longer—it can be a lifestyle choice, career choice, or a financial decision.

There's a guide to retiring and retirement planning checklist to help you assess your priorities.

If you are continuing to work into your 50s and 60s, there are ways to improve the working arrangement between yourself and your employer.

Redesigning the job

Consider transferring to a different role or changing your tasks if you are finding it hard to do your job safely or efficiently.

You may need your employer's help to:

  • reduce physical demands (e.g. lifting, using heavy machinery, driving or walking)
  • lower general noise levels
  • avoid extreme hot or cold conditions
  • improve workplace lighting

Talk to your employer about changes to your workplace or transferring to a different job. You are entitled to a safe and fair working environment.

Flexible work arrangements

Consider flexible working arrangements if full time work becomes too demanding. These arrangements may include:

  • working part time, to give you more time for leisure and family activities, including looking after younger or older family members
  • job sharing—a voluntary arrangement where 1 job is shared by 2 or more part time workers
  • part-year employment—taking a number of weeks or months of unpaid leave each year
  • working from home
  • phased retirement—lets you reduce your working hours each week, take extended leave, or return to work after a period of retirement as a consultant, contractor or casual worker.


Mentoring provides an opportunity to share the knowledge and experience you've gained over the years. A mentoring program is a structured way for you to begin handing over your skills and experience as you approach retirement.

Mentoring is usually one-on-one relationship. It should be based on openness, trust and a willingness to share and learn. Both parties can benefit through improved self-esteem, and it's a good way to retain business knowledge and develop workforce skills.

Talk to your employer about mentoring and develop a plan together. It could include:

  • overall aims and duration—usually 9–12 months
  • the outcomes and benefits for you, colleagues you are mentoring, and the organisation
  • performance indicators—guidelines on how to measure and assess the plan
  • the level of training and support—how much you and your employer are prepared to contribute
  • evaluation—agreed terms for assessing results when the plan ends

Consider becoming a business mentor. You could share your skills and experience with staff at your workplace or in other businesses.

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