Issue of May 14, 2017
     
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Anti‐age discrimination in employment act

When it comes to employment, the Department of Labor and Employment believes age does not matter. Companies are now prohibited from rejecting job applicants on the basis of their age under the Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

The Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act or Republic Act 10911 seeks to promote equality in the workplace by mandating companies to hire workers based on their competence, abilities, knowledge, skills and qualification rather than their age.

With age no longer a factor in hiring employees, the law now prohibits arbitrary age limitations in employment, removing age discrimination in the workplace. The law covers all employees and job applicants of all employers, including national and local governments, contractors, and organizations.

DOLE Department Order 170, s. 2017 or the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 10911 Section 1(c) “promote the rights of all employees and workers, regardless of age, to be treated equally in terms in terms of compensation, benefits, promotion, training and other employment opportunities.”

The law applies to all employers, publishers, labor contractors or subcontractors and labor organizations, whether or not registered. The law also bars companies from publishing job advertisements that indicate preference for a specific age group; in any form of media, including internet, any notice of advertisement relating to employment suggesting preferences, limitations, specifications and discrimination based on age.

Employers are also banned from requiring job applicants to declare their age during the hiring process; decline any employment application because of the individual’s age; discriminate against an individual in terms of compensation, terms and conditions or privileges of employment on account of such individual’s age; deny any employee’s or worker’s promotion or opportunity of training because of age; forcibly lay off an employee or worker because of old age; or impose early retirement on the basis of such employee’s or worker’s age;

For labor contractors or subcontractors to refuse to refer for employment or otherwise discriminate against any individual because of a person’s age; and

For labor organizations to deny membership; to exclude from its membership; or to cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate any individual because of an individual’s age.

The law, however, also sets situations where employers are allowed to set age limitations on the following: a) If age is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary in the normal operation of a particular business or where the differentiation is based on reasonable factors other than age; b) The intent is to observe the terms of a bona fide seniority system that is not intended to evade the purpose of this rules; and c) The intent is to observe the terms of a bona fide employees retirement or a voluntary early retirement plan consistent with the purpose of this rules. Provided, that such retirement or voluntary retirement plan is in accordance with the Labor Code of the Philippines, as renumbered, and other related laws; or the action is duly certified by the Secretary of Labor and Employment in accordance with the purpose of these rules.

Meanwhile, industries where age is a crucial occupational qualification for employment will be exempted from setting age limitations.

Those who will be found violating the law will be penalized with a fine of not less than P50,000 but not more than P500,000 or imprisonment of not less than three months but not more than two years, or both at the discretion of the court.

If committed by a corporation, trust, firm, partnership or association, the penalty shall be imposed upon the guilty officer or officers of such. Moreover, Sec. 9 of the IRR says that all existing collective bargaining agreements, employment contracts, and company policies prior to the effectivity of the law shall be respected as agreed by the parties.

For more information on theAnti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act and DOLE DO 170, s. 2017 or the IRR of RA 10911, visit the DOLE website @ www.dole.gov.ph.

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