The following are the key takeaways:
1. Prohibition on discrimination against middle-aged and senior-aged employees
Notwithstanding that the Employment Service Act has already prohibited age discrimination, the Act provides further protections to middle-aged and senior-aged employees.
Definition of Prohibited Differential treatment
The Act prohibits differential treatment for middle-aged and senior-aged employees and job seekers unless there is an applicable legal exception, e.g. the rationale is based on the requirements or special features of the job.
'Differential treatment' means any unfavorable treatment in the following instances: (1) recruitment, performance evaluation or promotion, (2) education and training, (3) wages and benefits, and (4) retirement and termination.
Remedies Available to the Employee
In the case of such discrimination, an employee can file a complaint to the labor authority, and the employer may be fined. The employee can also claim for any damages as a result of unfair differential treatment.
Allocation of Burden of Proof
If an employee/job seeker files a complaint about illegal differential treatment as described above, the burden of proving that the differential treatment is not based on age or has an applicable legal exception lies with the employer.
2. Subsidies/Awards Available for the Employer
To incentivize employers to hire/retain middle-aged and senior-aged employees, the Act provides subsidies/awards to the employer if it does any of the following:
(1) Keeping middle-aged and senior-aged employees gainfully employed;
(2) Employing unemployed middle-aged and senior-aged people, and/or
(3) Assisting or re-employing retirees.
3. Senior-aged People Can Be Hired on a Fixed-term Basis
In principle, fixed-term contracts are allowed only if there is an applicable legal exception outlined in the Labor Standards Act.
However, to incentivize the employment of senior-aged people, the Act allows employers and employees to enter into a fixed-term contract if the employees are more than 65 years old.
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