AN employers’ group has registered its objection to a new law banning age discrimination in the workplace, noting that the measure infringes on the exercise of management prerogative.
“Jurisprudence has reiterated time and again that the exercise by the employer of management prerogative is not subject to interference so long as it is done in good faith based on the exigencies of business and not intended to circumvent the legal rights of labor,” the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) said in a position paper submitted as part of consultations over the weekend.
Republic Act (RA) 10911, otherwise known as the “Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment,” seeks to promote employment of individuals on the basis of their abilities, knowledge, skills and qualifications rather than their age.
The new law prohibits “arbitrary” age limitations in employment. These prohibitions cover not only all aspects of the hiring processes but also all other aspects of employment relations such as alleged discrimination in promotion, training and retirement.
ECOP cited a case law according rights and privileges to employers to assure their self-determination and independence and reasonable return of capital pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution. This mass of privileges comprises the so-called management prerogatives.
Under the new law banning age discrimination in the workplace, employers who engage in such practices are subject to penal sanctions of fines and imprisonment.
“Imposition of penal sanctions for violation of prohibitions is oppressive and violative of the constitutional rights of employers,” ECOP said.
The new law covers all employers, labor contractors or subcontractors, and labor organizations and publishers.
The new law also stipulates that it is unlawful for a publisher to print or publish any notice of advertisement relating to employment suggesting preferences, limitations, specifications and discrimination based on age.