Philippines

Republic Act No. 10911 (also known as the ‘Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act’) lapsed into law on 21 July 2016. While there are several laws on discrimination in the Philippines, e.g. women, persons with disability, persons with HIV, etc., this is a new law focusing on age discrimination. The Department of Labor and Employment has yet to issue the implementing rules and regulations for this new law.

The law has for its avowed purposes the following: a) promotion of employment on the basis of ability, knowledge, skills, and qualification; b) prohibition against arbitrary age limitations in employment; and c) promotion of the right of all employees and workers, regardless of age, to be treated equally in terms of compensation, benefits, promotion, training and other employment opportunities. The law covers all employers, labor contractors/subcontractors, and labor organisations.

The law enumerates several prohibited acts for an employer, labor contractor/subcontractor, labor organisation, and a publisher.
Section 5 (a) of the law provides that it shall be unlawful for an employer to do the following:
a) Print or publish, or cause to be printed or published, in any form of media, any notice of advertisement relating to employment suggesting preferences, limitations, specifications, and discrimination based on age;
In this connection, a publisher is prohibited from printing or publishing any notice of advertisement relating to employment suggesting preferences, limitations, specifications, and discrimination based on age.
b) Require the declaration of age or birth date during the application process;
c) Decline any employment application because of the individual’s age;
d) Discriminate against an individual in terms of compensation, terms and conditions or privileges of employment on account of age;
e) Deny promotion or opportunity for training because of age;
f) Forcibly lay off an employee or worker because of old age; and
g) Impose early retirement on the basis of age.

Please note though there are provisions in the Labor Code and in Republic Act No. 7658 (a.k.a. the ‘Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act’) that prescribe the conditions under which minors can be employed. Furthermore, this new law should also be read in conjunction with the Senior Citizens Act (Republic Act No. 7432, as amended).
On the other hand, a labor contractor/subcontractor cannot refuse to refer for employment an individual because of his age; or otherwise discriminate against any individual because of his age. For labor organisation, it cannot deny membership to any individual because of his age; exclude from its membership any individual because of his age; and cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against an individual in violation of this law.

The law, however, admits of several exceptions. For instance, an employer is allowed to prescribe age as a requirement for employment if “age is a bona fide occupational qualification (‘BFOQ’) or where the differentiation is based on reasonable factors other than age.” Philippine jurisprudence mandates that, to justify a BFOQ, the employer must prove two factors: 1) that the employment qualification (in this case, age) is reasonably related to the essential operation of the job involved; and 2) that there is a factual basis for believing that all or substantially all persons meeting the qualification would be unable to properly perform the duties of the job (Star Paper Corporation, et. al. vs. Simbol, et. al., G.R. No. 164774, 12 April 2006). The other exceptions provided under the law are: a) the intent is to observe the terms of a bona fide seniority system; b) the intent is to observe the terms of a bona fide employee retirement or a voluntary early retirement plan consistent with the purpose of RA 10911; or c) the action is duly certified by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

For violating the law, an individual or entity shall be meted the penalty of fine of not less than Fifty Thousand Pesos (Php 50,000) but not more than Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (Php 500,000) or imprisonment of not less than three (3) months but not more than two (2) years, or both.

While the enactment of this law may have come too late in the day, it is still a good step towards the attainment of a discrimination-free workplace in the Philippines.

–––––––––––––––
ACCRALAW
ACCRALAW Tower, 2nd Avenue corner 30th Street
Crescent Park West, Bonifacio Global City, 0399 Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel: (632) 830-8000 / Fax: (632) 4037007 or (632) 4037008
E: nbsalvanera@accralaw.com
W: www.accralaw.com

Related Articles by Firm
Revisiting the AMLA in light of transnational money laundering
For several decades, money laundering has extended the reach of transnational organised crime throughout various nations ...
Revisiting important concepts in arbitration
Philippine courts are keen on making arbitration and other modes of ADR the staple in settling disputes domestically.
Keeping your mobile number for a lifetime
A new law facilitates the easy movement of subscribers from one service provider to another.
The right to know: Freedom of information in the Supreme Court
Like all other rights, the “right to know” is not an absolute right.
The Philippines 11th Foreign Investment Negative List and its impact on online businesses
A more liberalised foreign participation may change the internet-based business landscape in the Philippines ...
The Philippine Competition Commission bares its teeth
For the first time since its inception in 2015, the Commission has blocked a merger after conducting its review.
A peek into the revised Corporation Code of the Philippines
On February 20, 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11232, otherwise known as the Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines (the New Code) ...
Philippines: Protecting indigenous knowledge systems and practices in intellectual property rights registration
Indigenous peoples (IPs) and indigenous cultural communities (ICCs), though explicitly protected under the constitution itself, sadly remain one of the most marginalised and forgotten sectors in Philippine society ...
Philippines: The right to know – Freedom of information in the Supreme Court
Freedom of Information is a right enshrined in our fundamental law ...
Investments for the environment
In a recent report released by the leading international body for assessment of climate change, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC), established a target global warming limit of 1.5°C ...
The PCC’s Joint Venture Guidelines
The Philippine Competition Commission must strive to strike a balance ...
How the Mental Health Act affects employees
Mental health conditions, which include anxiety and panic disorders, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse and addictions, have become a pervasive issue which permeates our present society ...
The Ease of Doing Business Act tapers red tape
RA 11032 is a welcome step towards achieving the quality government services that Filipinos deserve.
Much EndO about nothing
President Duterte says he has put an end to the “Endo” or the practice of engaging employees on a contractual basis. But has he?
Philippines: Proposed rules and regulations on crowdfunding
Crowdfunding (CF) platforms have proven to be a popular way to solicit charitable donations and to raise funds for projects or business ventures ...
Virtual currency in the Philippines: Recognition and regulation
Bitcoin is essentially a virtual currency (VC), which is any type of digital unit that is used as a medium of exchange — a veritable currency that exists in the digital world. Since it is electronic currency, VC is easily transferable ...
Protection of women employees in the Philippines
According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap (GGG) Report conducted in 2016, the Philippines is the most gender-equal country in the Asia-Pacific region, having closed nearly 79 percent of its gender gap ...
Anti-Trust & Competition: Philippines - Towards robust yet balanced competition in the Philippines
The state of Philippine competition regulation has been slowly taking shape barely over two years after the passage of the Philippine Competition Act (RA 10667) ...
PHILIPPINES: The internet and doing business in the Philippines
Earlier this year, the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an opinion stating that an online gaming system with absolutely no physical presence in the Philippines shall be considered as “doing business” in the Philippines and was thus required ...
Philippines: Psychological disorders in the workplace
The problem of mental health presents a particular conundrum under labour relations and standards ...
Clarifying the role of contractors and subcontractors
Recent changes to labour laws in the Philippines attempt to clarify the status of contractors and subcontractors in certain industries ...
Fake news and its web of legal issues in the post-truth era
Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year for 2016 is “post-truth” — an adjective defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”. ...
Dollar-denominated securities in relation to Corporation Code’s provisions on capital
The Philippines Stock Exchange (PSE) issued rules on December 2, 2016 governing the listing, trading and settlement of US dollar-denominated securities (DDS)....
Cyber bullying in the Philippines
The pen is mightier than the sword or so the adage goes. When this was once said, it was to highlight the power of thoughts and ideas over brute force and violence as a way to effect change. Today, the ...
Uber/GrabCar drivers: Independent contractors or employees?
The buzz about the legality of Uber and GrabCar operating in the Philippines might have died down, but now there is another legal issue surrounding them: whether their drivers are employees or ...
Price fixing in the context of the Philippine Competition Act
In light of the enactment of the Philippine Competition Act (PCA) in 2015, competitors, manufacturers, retailers and sellers or suppliers, in general, should be ...
Implementation of the data privacy act in Philippines now in full swing
Since 2012, the Philippines has had a comprehensive law governing personal data privacy. However, full implementation ...
Taxability of service fees received by non-resident foreign companies from online advertising in the Philippines
The use of the internet for the promotion of goods and services, particularly social media (Facebook, Twitter and ...
Levelling the playing field in the Philippines
Before the enactment of the Philippine Competition Act in 2015, the Philippines was the only founding member of Asean that did not have a comprehensive competition law in place. Francisco Ed Lim, Patricia-Ann T Prodigalidad, Eric R Recalde of <...
Green jobs: greening the Philippine labour sector
With the threat of climate change, the international community created the Paris Agreement which aims to stop global warming and preserve ...
Interplay of domestic law on compulsory licensing and international agreements on medicine prices
The price of pharmaceutical products in the Philippines appears to be on the high side compared to that in other Asian ...
Restrictive covenants in employment contracts
One of the means of keeping afloat in today’s competitive market is to hire employees who are ‘fit’ for a particular job. However, before employers ...
Make our system work: litigation practice expedited
The perception that litigation is a slow and arduous process has drawn many of us closer to the idea of alternative modes of dispute resolution. ...
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Department Order No. 18-A: The Rules and Regulations on Contracting
On December 4, 2011, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Department Order No. 18-A (D.O. 18-A), the new Rules Implementing Articles 106 to 109 ...
An overview of Philippine Data Privacy Law
Republic Act No. 10173, or the Philippine Data Privacy Act of 2012 (RA10173), was signed into law on August 15, 2012. This is the ...
New competition law for the Philippines
The Philippine Competition Act (PCA) went into effect on August 5, 2015. The law applies not only to acts committed in the Philippines but ...
Related Articles
Amendment of the Law on Intellectual Property in compliance with the CPTPP
The changes follow ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
New economic substance regulations in the UAE
The rules are a response to the UAE being put on the EU's blacklist of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.
Keeping up with the trend: The New DIFC Insolvency Law
The New Law introduces many welcomed features and is a step forward in maintaining the UAE’s position as a world leading trade hub.
Related Articles by Jurisdiction
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Department Order No. 18-A: The Rules and Regulations on Contracting
On December 4, 2011, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Department Order No. 18-A (D.O. 18-A), the new Rules Implementing Articles 106 to 109 ...
The Philippines 11th Foreign Investment Negative List and its impact on online businesses
A more liberalised foreign participation may change the internet-based business landscape in the Philippines ...
The right to know: Freedom of information in the Supreme Court
Like all other rights, the “right to know” is not an absolute right.
Latest Articles
Amendment of the Law on Intellectual Property in compliance with the CPTPP
The changes follow ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
New economic substance regulations in the UAE
The rules are a response to the UAE being put on the EU's blacklist of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.
Creating value in law. Is it time to Stop, Collaborate and Listen?
To ensure that we’re creating excellence, we need to think, without distraction, of the bigger picture.