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Philippines – Anti-ageism law proposed for recruitment agencies

13 August 2013

A Filipino MP is proposing a Bill that would prohibit discrimination against any individual with respect to compensation and terms and conditions of employment on the basis of age, according to the Filipino Star.

Rep. Eric Olivarez, who proposed the ‘Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 2013’, commented: “The setting of arbitrary age limit[s] regardless of potential for job performance has become common practice. The incidence of unemployment, especially long term unemployment with resultant deterioration of skill, morale, and employer acceptability, is higher among older workers.”

The Anti-Age Discrimination Bill provides that it shall be unlawful for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or discharge any individual, or otherwise discriminate against such individual, with respect to compensation and other terms and conditions of employment by reason of age.

The bill further provides it shall be unlawful for an employment agency to fail or refuse to refer for employment, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual because of age, or to classify or refer for employment any individual on the basis of age. It shall also be unlawful for an employer to limit, segregate or classify employees in any way, which will deprive or tend to deprive an individual of employment opportunity or otherwise adversely affect the status as an employee because of age, or for the employer to reduce the wage rate of any employee by reason of age.

Likewise, it shall be unlawful for a labour organisation to exclude or expel from its membership, or otherwise discriminate against any individual because of age.

Furthermore, the measure provides that it shall be unlawful for an employer, employment agency or a labour organization to print or publish, or cause to be printed or published, any notice or advertisement relating to employment by such an employer; or membership in, or any classification or referral for employment by such an employer; or membership in, or any classification or referral for employment by such a labour organization; or relating to any classification or referral for employment by such an employment agency, indicating any preference, limitation, specification or discrimination based on age.

Exempted from this provision shall be those whose age is a genuine occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of a particular business in the military or any branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, or where the differentiation is based on reasonable factors other than age, or where such practices involve an employee in a workplace in a foreign country and compliance will cause such employer, or a corporation controlled by such employer, to violate the laws of the country in which the workplace is located.

Any discriminating employers shall be penalised with imprisonment for six months to one year, or fined between PHP 100,000 (USD 2,290) and PHP 5 million (USD 114,499); or both at the discretion of the court.

The licence of the discriminating agency shall also be suspended for one year for its first violation and withdrawn following a second violation. The same provisions apply to labour organisation.

Details of when the vote will take place were not provided. 

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