One eligibility factor for a pilot wage insurance program, outlined in the Labour Force Participation Of Older Workers in Canada by the Institute for Research and Public Policy (blog post April 26 2011), is that a person should be age 45 or over and must “show a high degree of labour force attachment for at least four years before a job lay off”.
Couple that with a second factor – “participate in initial employment and career counselling to assess the likelihood of finding re-employment at or near pre-layoff wages”.
It needs to be said that there are more situational profiles in the over 45 age group than taking these items at face value. Beyond an individuals talent assessment; the life stage reality, mind set and economic expectations of someone 45 won’t be the same as someone 58 or 65. “Re-employment likelihood” options can be widely different and more immediately attained depending on life stage and financial goals.
So what are our real hopes for people? To what extent does the offer of a wage insurance program suggest to older people that it’s OK they should accept a job that pays less and be subsidized? Is this really helping people stretch and grow or reinvent themselves?
In my work with this wide ranging age group, I’ve seen some career success stories where given enough rope on ideas and a touch of reassurance, people have led themselves to find more than any offer of wage insurance might have done.