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Bill vs age discrimination

The bill seeking to prohibit age discrimination in the workplace may soon become a law.

This after the Senate passed on third and final reading the bill prohibiting age discrimination in offices and agencies, Monday night.

The Senate passed the measure before convening as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) to canvass the votes for the presidential and vice presidential candidates in the May 9 elections.

Sen. Pia Cayetano, sponsor of Senate Bill No. 29, or the Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 2016, said the measure prohibits employers from printing or publishing in any form of media, including the Internet, any notice or advertisement suggesting preferences, limitations, specifications and discrimination based on age.

The measure is expected to enter deliberations in the bicameral conference committee before being sent to Malacañang for President Benigno Aquino III’s signature.

Cayetano, whose term ends on June 30, noted that age discrimination is one of the biggest barriers to employment in the country and there is yet no law to prohibit it.

“There is none in our Labor Code; and until recently, it was not even on the policy radar screen of the Department of Labor and Employment,” Cayetano said.

“To be discriminated against due to a natural and unstoppable process of ageing is to impose another glass ceiling that is even more difficult to break than that of gender,” she added.

Once enacted into law, employers are prohibited from withholding the promotion of an employee or deny them from training opportunities, compensation and privileges merely on the basis of age.

Employment agencies or recruitment centers would also be banned from refusing to refer an individual for employment because of age and for a labor organization to deny membership or cause an employer to discriminate against a person because of his age.