New law bars employers from hiring workers based on age

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Age should no longer be a factor in hiring employees, now that a measure aiming to eliminate age discrimination in the workplace has lapsed into law.

The Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act is now a law after Malacañang failed to act on it within 30 days of receipt.

Now known as Republic Act 10911, the law seeks to promote equality in the workplace by mandating companies to hire workers based on their competence, and not on their age. The law covers all employees and job applicants of all employers, including national and local governments, contractors, and organizations.

The law also bars companies from publishing job advertisements that indicate preference for a specific age group. They are also banned from requiring job applicants to declare their age during the hiring process.

The following acts done on the basis of age are also regarded as unlawful under the new law:

Violators will be fined between P50,000 and P500,000, and will be imprisoned from 3 months to two years, at the court's discretion.

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

Although the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the law have yet to be crafted, former senator and incumbent Taguig 2nd District Representative Pia Cayetano has called on companies to comply with RA 10911.

"I urge employers, job fair organizers, and publishers of job ads to start doing away with age bias and discrimination. Let us work towards promoting equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace," said Cayetano who is the principal author of the bill in the Senate.

Pasay City Representative Emi Calixto-Rubiano, who authored the measure in the House, said in a statement that she would monitor the implementation of the new law.

"Age discrimination is a reality in the Philippines. Browse through recruitment ads and one will find age as a requirement for employment. And most often, the age ceiling is 40 years old," Calixto-Rubiano said.

"Government should ensure equal employment opportunities for everyone." 

Another measure that promotes equality in the labor force - the proposed amendment to Republic Act 9547 or the Special Program for Employment of Students Law - has also lapsed into a law last July 21. 

The new policy expands the current law by requiring persons or entities with at least 10 hired personnel to employ students, out-of-school-youth and dependents of workers displaced from their jobs.

Bill author Davao City First District Representative Karlo Nograles said that students employed in jobs related to their courses may earn corresponding academic and practicum credits as set by the appropriate government agencies. – Rappler.com