A bill to ban age discrimination in the workplace yesterday cleared the committee stage at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
The aim of the bill is to help boost the working rate of middle-aged and elderly people, protect their right to rejoin the workforce and encourage equitable employment opportunities.
The proposed legislation would bar employers from discriminating against an employee or job applicant because of their age in recruitment, hiring, job allocation, performance evaluation, promotion, wages and benefits, retirement or redundancy payments.
The bill defines middle-aged workers as those aged 45 to 65, while elderly workers are defined as those over 65.
The draft bill states that employers should be able to hire people aged at least 65 on fixed-term contracts and the government should provide subsidies to employers of older workers who pass on their professional experience to younger employees.
Enterprises that hire workers nearing 65 should also provide assistance to such workers one year before their retirement to help them find re-employment, the draft states.
People who believe they have been discriminated against due to age would be able to file a complaint with their local labor affairs authorities, and their employers would not be allowed to fire or transfer them while the complaint is investigated, the draft bill states.
Employers found to discriminating on the basis of age could be fined from NT$300,000 (US$9,825) to NT$1.5 million, while those who fire an employee who has filed a complaint or subject them to any form of punishment, such as a transfer, could be fined between NT$20,000 and NT$300,000.
The Ministry of Labor would be authorized to publish the names of companies or their owners that subject any of their employees to unfair treatment because of their age and order them to make improvements within a certain time or face fines.
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