Age discrimination

LAW EACH WEEK

Do we have a law in the Philippines specifically prohibiting discrimination due to age?

   Yes. In 2015, the Philippine Congress passed Republic Act (R. A.) 10911 or the “Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act,” which makes it unlawful for employers to choose employees or job applicants based on their age.

What are the specific acts that are prohibited under this law?

Section 5 of R. A. 10911 provides the following prohibitions of discrimination in employment on account of age and declared that it shall be unlawful for an employer to:

  1. Print or publish, or cause 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;
  2. Require the declaration of age or birth date during the application process;
  3. Decline any employment application because of the individual’s age;
  4. Discriminate against an individual in terms of compensation, terms and conditions or privileges of employment on account of such individual’s age;
  5. Deny any employee’s or worker’s promotion or opportunity for training because of age;
  6. Forcibly lay off an employee or worker because of old age; or
  7. Impose early retirement based on such employee’s or worker’s age.

Does this prohibition extend only to employers?

No, prohibitions are also set for labor contractors and subcontractors, labor organizations and to newspaper publishers. The law provides that it shall be unlawful for a labor contractor or subcontractor, if any, to refuse to refer for employment or otherwise discriminate against any individual because of such person’s age.

Furthermore, it shall be unlawful for a labor organization to: a. Deny membership to any individual because of such individual’s age; b. Exclude from its membership any individual because of such individual’s age; or c. Cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against an individual in violation of this Act.

Lastly, it shall be unlawful for a publisher to print or publish any notice of advertisement relating to employment suggesting preferences, limitations, specifications, and discrimination based on age.

Are there exceptions on this law?

Yes. Section 6 of the law provides that it shall not be unlawful for an employer to set age limitations in employment if: a) Age is not a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary in the normal operation of a business; b) The intent is to observe the terms of a bona fide seniority system; and c) The intent is to observe the terms of a bona fide employee retirement or a voluntary early retirement plan.