PH Law Against Age Discrimination in the Workplace

October 29, 2019 | Jantzein Malaya

The chances of applicants landing their dream job is mainly based on what information they put out about themselves. Ideally, employment will just be based on a person’s skills and work experience. But with the goals of companies to further themselves and equip themselves with productive and highly efficient employees, some tend to focus on the physical attributes of applicants that can help with their goals, particularly the applicants’ age.

Many employers find a person’s age as a determining factor in an employee’s work output. Younger employees tend to have more energy, tend to be more open to new, innovative ideas, and are more adaptive to changing times and management styles. Older, tenured employees are used to a different work environment, and are more set to the ways that have worked for them in the past. This provides younger applicants an advantage, and puts older job seekers at the back burner.

This practice, though discriminatory, is still continued by numerous employers and companies. And while there have been a substantial support against the many kinds of discrimination in the workplace during recent years, some still suffer unlawful stereotyping, prejudice, and rejection.

In the Philippines, the Republic Act No. 10911 or the “Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act” was passed in 2016 to battle the unlawful discrimination to employees and workers against their age.

Section 5 of this Act focuses on its prohibitions, some of which are :

  • Printing or publishing, or causing to be printed or published, in any form of media, including the internet, any notice of advertisement relating to employment suggesting preferences, limitations, specifications, and discrimination based on age;
  •  Requiring the declaration of age or birth date during the application process;
  • Declining any employment application because of the individual’s age;
  • Discriminating against an individual in terms of compensation, terms and conditions or privileges of employment on account of such individual’s age;
  • Denying any employee’s or worker’s promotion or opportunity for training because of age;
  • Forcibly laying off an employee or worker because of old age; or
  • Imposing early retirement on the basis of such employee’s or worker’s age.

These prohibitions, however, still have their exceptions. These exceptions are:

  • 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;
  • The intent is to observe the terms of a bona fide seniority system that is not intended to evade the purpose of this Act;
  • The intent is to observe the terms of a bona fide employee retirement or a voluntary early retirement plan consistent with the purpose of this Act: Provided, That such retirement or voluntary retirement plan is in accordance with the Labor Code, as amended, and other related laws; or
  • The action is duly certified by the Secretary of Labor and Employment in accordance with the purpose of this Act.

Pursuant to this Act, violators shall be punished with a fine of not less than fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00), but not more than five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00), or imprisonment of not less than three (3) months but not more than two (2) years, or both, at the discretion of the court. If the offense is committed by a corporation, trust, firm, partnership or association or other entity, the penalty shall be imposed upon the guilty officer or officers of such corporation, trust, firm, partnership or association or entity.

This law was passed to promote skills and qualifications as the main basis for employment, training and promotion. It also aims to eradicate the norm that age should be a factor in an employee’s opportunities in the workplace. By implementing this law, employers can pave the the way to a more inclusive, more diverse work force in the Philippines.

Sources:

Republic Act No. 10911, Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act [Philippines], 21 July 2016, available at http://laws.chanrobles.com/republicacts/110_republicacts.php?id=10696 [accessed 29 October 2019]

Palabrica, R. (2016). Ageism in the workplace. [online] Business.inquirer.net. Available at: https://business.inquirer.net/211021/ageism-in-the-workplace [Accessed 29 Oct. 2019].

Bworldonline.com. (2016). BusinessWorld | Age discrimination in the workplace. [online] Available at: http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Opinion&title=age-discrimination-in-the-workplace&id=134067 [Accessed 29 Oct. 2019].

Advincula, J. (2018). R.A. NO. 10911: Eliminating Age Discrimination in Employment | ZGLaw. [online] Zglaw.com. Available at: https://www.zglaw.com/blog/2017/01/05/r-a-no-10911-eliminating-age-discrimination-in-employment [Accessed 29 Oct. 2019].