Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health





PubMed ID





School of Business and Law / Centre for Work + Wellbeing


Centre for Work Health & Safety (NSW Government) initiative: The ageing demographic of the Australian workforce: prevention of work health and safety harm (Project ID: RE_090)


Farr-Wharton, B., Bentley, T., Onnis, L. A., Caponecchia, C., Neto, A. D. A., O’Neill, S., & Andrew, C. (2023). Older worker-orientated human resource practices, wellbeing and leave intentions: A conservation of resources approach for ageing workforces. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(3), 2725.


At a time where there are ageing populations, global shortages of skilled labour, and migration pathways impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, retaining older workers presents as a vital strategic initiative for organizations globally. This study examines the role of Human Resource Practices (HRPs), which are oriented towards accommodating the needs of an ageing workforce in mitigating psychological distress and turnover intentions. The study collected self-reported survey data from 300 Australian employees over the age of 45, over two time points. Using structural equation modelling, the study analyzed the extent to which Older Worker-oriented Human Resources Practices (OW-HRPs) translate into employee psychological health and retention within organizations, through the mediation of ageism and work–life conflict. The results support our hypothesis that OW-HRPs are associated with lower ageism, better work–life balance; and in combination these reduce psychological distress and help retain older workers in the workforce. We conclude that OW-HRPs can foster work environments conducive to older worker wellbeing, supporting the retention of talent and maintaining effectiveness, in the face of substantial labour supply challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and an ageing population.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.