44 Pages

Health and Social Care

This chapter reviews labour-force trends and older-worker employment policies in Japan and the United States (US). Both countries have aging work forces, but Japan's labour force is and for some time has been older than that of the US. Japan's Ministry of Labour began addressing older-worker issues over 30 years ago and in the ensuing years has promulgated numerous initiatives to extend working life. Japan's older-worker programs and policies clearly seem to have an impact on labour-force rates, although those rates are dropping among the elderly in Japan as well as in US. The transferability of these programs and policies to the US is discussed. Japan and the US stand poles apart when it comes to older worker issues. In contrast, employment policy has never been high on the government's aging agenda in the US. The last significant piece of relevant legislation was enacted in 1986, when amendments to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) effectively eliminated mandatory retirement.