The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) has welcomed the announcement by the Federal Government of additional support for pensioners wishing to work more hours without being financially penalised for doing so.

AHA CEO Stephen Ferguson said with dire labour shortages being felt across Australia’s hotels and hospitality venues, any measures to assist mature Australians into work, should they wish to do so, should be embraced.

“For some time, we have received reports of mature Australians who are ready, willing and able to complete a few extra shifts in local hospitality venues but are financially deterred from doing so,” Mr Ferguson said.

“We welcome common sense measures that encourage Australians of all ages to help fill the serious workforce shortages in our hotels, pubs, bars, taverns and restaurants.”

“Today’s announcement does not address all of the barriers preventing mature Australians from reentering or maximising their participation in the workforce, it is a step in the right direction.”

“Increasing the flexibility of the age pension system will help those who wish to move between work and the pension without facing unnecessary financial penalties.”

“We also welcome the announcement that Age Pension recipients who have their payment reduced to nil because they are working would also retain their Pensioner Concession Card for up to two years, instead of the current 12 weeks.”

“The AHA commends the work of the Federal Government and in particular, the Minister for Employment, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, for his pragmatic approach to finding solutions to the current workforce challenges.”

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