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Is 57 'too old' for a woman looking for a waitress job?

Croydon South woman Jenny Potter, 57, has been out of work for four months. Picture: Daniel Pockett
Croydon South woman Jenny Potter, 57, has been out of work for four months. Picture: Daniel Pockett

A MELBOURNE woman believes employers are discriminating against her because she is too "old".

Jenny Potter, 57, from Croydon South in Melbourne's east, has been on the hunt for a job since April, when the Ringwood cafe she had worked at for 14 years closed down.

But despite sending out more than 100 resumes, she is convinced her applications are ending up in the bin because she is too old.

"It's endless. I'm sending out resumes on Gumtree, Seek and wherever I can," Mrs Potter said.

"I haven't been unemployed long, but it's been long enough to drive me insane."

She said some employers had asked for her age after she applied.

The Age Discrimination Act bans employers from asking for the age of an applicant unless it is inherent to the requirements of the job.

"I give it (my age) to them, but then they say they'll contact you and you never hear back from them," she said.

"In other places, you sense a vibe that makes it clear age is an issue.

"It should have nothing to do with age, it should be experience."

"They (employers) just want the young, pretty ones," she said.

"There are many of us over-45s who are unemployed out here. The older you are, the harder it gets."

Mrs Potter said she was seeking a casual job which involved shifts of less than six hours, due to animals in her care at home.

She acknowledged her limited availability would rule her out of some jobs, but is convinced her age is the sticking point for many employers.

Mrs Potter spent most of her years at Palm Court Cafe in Ringwood Square as a waitress, and while she did not make coffee or use modern point-of-sale machines, she said she was "willing to learn".

Mrs Potter is now pleading with employers in Maroondah to throw a lifeline to mature-aged job seekers in her position, including herself.

Topics:  age discrimination editors picks general-seniors-news

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