Hiring the right people for your company means thoroughly selecting through hundreds of applicants that have the potential to contribute to the performance of your workforce. In addition, adding more people to your business means expanding your ‘family’ in your professional environment.
For these reasons, it is of high importance that the choices made by employers like you, should focus on the skills as well as attitudes of individuals applying for the job. As an owner of a business, how do you set the standards?
Some companies made it a point to hire younger workers fresh from college and universities to add a ‘newer’ perspective. Plus, these employees still have the optimistic views that a progressive business sector needs.
However, other businessmen prefer older employees for their typical mature attitude towards work. One aspect is about the collected experiences from these individuals’ previous career ventures.
The instances that we have mentioned here focus on the undeniable advantages of youth and experiences of an abled employee to do the job well. However, what we have left out are the potential of older employees, for example, men and women in their 40s to 50s. Companies make it a point not to hire people from such category because of the assumption that these individuals are too old (or too young) to be productive in the workplace.
However, the Philippine government made it a point to rid of such stigma and finally give an equal chance especially for older people to find work easier without worries of age limitations.
The Republic Act 10911 or the Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act has a vision to support and encourage equality in the workplace. This will be possible by requiring companies to hire workers based on their competence, and nothing else.
RA 10911 highlights that age should not be a basis for employment and applicants should not be rejected just because they fall within an older age bracket.
Here are 11 things that businesses should know about the Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act:
1. No Age Limit
Companies in the country are now legally obliged to hire workers based on competence and ability, regardless of age. This means that even for older people in their fifties, career opportunities should not be out of reach.
2. Exemptions to the rule
Like all rules, there are considerations that should be acknowledged. One is, it is a reality that some industries require a particular age group to perform certain tasks. More abled workers have the proper capabilities to fulfill occupational qualifications. Such industries will not be covered by the new law.
3. Nationwide scope
The law covers national and local government posts as well as contractors and organizations in the Philippines. Aside from the mentioned exemptions, these sectors should strictly obey the mandate.
4. Job advertisements
In a typical job ad, companies include descriptions of qualifications based on the standards that they have set for an ideal employee selection. However, the new law dictates that including ‘age preferences’ establishes a form of discrimination, therefore, is legally prohibited.
5. Age disclosure
Business owners are also reminded that applicants should not be forced to disclose their age during the interview and hiring process of their company. Demanding such information is no longer allowed and is considered unacceptable.
6. Fines and penalties for violators
Companies, contractors, and organizations that are proven guilty of age discrimination will suffer legal and financial consequences, as follows:
- A fine between P50,000 to P500,000 pesos
- Imprisonment from three (3) to two (2) years depending on the court’s decision
7. Benefits and compensations
RA 10911 does not only benefit job applicants but also individuals who are currently employed in a company or an organization. One act that is now considered unlawful is when companies provide unreasonably lower benefits and compensations to its older or younger employees.
8. Promotions and training
Another form of discrimination that should now be avoided is when older employees are deprived of new opportunities for improvement like skills training and seminars. In addition, promotion privileges should not depend or be limited based on a worker’s age.
9. Forced dismissal
Business owners should never force any employee to resign because of old age. In other words, imposing early retirement on older workers is unfair and unlawful
10. Complying to RA 10911
The new law clearly requires companies to change their old ways and make necessary adjustments to accommodate these modifications. For this reason, the law expected a possibility for employers to reduce all employees’ wages in order to comply with the republic act. This move will also be considered improper and illegal.
11. Coverage and details in progress
Since the law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) still need to be written, we can expect more details and coverage in the coming months.
The Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act will give more chances to individuals to pursue a more positive career choice without the worries of old age. In connection to this, the new law is expected to not only benefit work applicants currently in the country, but also for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who are planning to return home.
One of the reasons why OFWs are scared to come home even if they are faced with harsh work environment abroad is the reality that seeking employment follows an age limit. The implementation of this new law will make sure that they have better chances to get a new job without being away from their families.
It can be remembered that during the Philippine Labor Day on May 1 this year, lady senator Pia Cayetano campaigned for the passage of her bill, emphasizing that the act will be a much-deserved present for the national workforce. She added that the bill should be a “fitting legacy of the 16th Congress.”
Currently, the country’s unemployment rate stands at 6.1% as of April 2016. It is now down from the 6.4% compared with the last year’s records. However, it is still an increase if we will look at its January 2016 report when it hit 5.8%. The records are expected to decrease after the passage of the new law.