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Discrimination vs elderlies now a crime

Thousands of elderlies could now go back to the job market without fear of being discriminated by employers with the passage of Republic Act No. 10911 last month.

Republic Act No. 10911 or an Act Prohibiting Discrimination against Any Individual in Employment on Accounts of Age recently lapsed into law on July 21, 2016 after former President Benigno Aquino III failed to sign it during his term.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) welcomed the new legislation, which it said will ensure the job security for “not-so-young” workers.

“This is really a positive development because there are people, who are above 40, but are still productive and willing to work,” Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod told reporters during an interview.

He said this will empower elderlies now that many companies would prefer hiring their younger counterparts for a position even they are more qualified.

“This should not be the norm,” said Maglunsod, who vowed DoLE will strictly implement the new law.

“DoLE will issue a memorandum to all its regional office to inform the public and employers about this so it could be fully implemented,” he added.

Under the new law, employers are now prohibited from refusing to hire or promote “old” workers based on their age alone.

It also bars companies from firing an employer due to their old age.

However, the law does provide exemption for employers from complying to these provisions, if the applicant or employee has already reached the retireable age or lacks the necessary qualification for the job position.

Companies, which will violate the law, may be sanctioned with fines ranging from P50,000 to P500,000 and imprisonment of not less than three months but not more than two years.

DoLE’s Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) Director Dominique Tutay urged elderlies to take advantage of the new law by obtaining the necessary skills for positions they will apply for.

“Regardless of the age for as long as you have skills and competency needed by the industry, then age is not in any way a barrier. It is just how you present yourself to the employers that make you hired or not,” Tutay explained. (Samuel Medenilla)