#BTColumn – Discrimination at work


The views and opinions expressed by the authors do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.

through Dennis De Peiza

Finding a job in today’s world doesn’t seem like the easiest thing to do. Those who have a preference for the type of job they want to do are likely to find that they have a low chance of achieving their hopes and dreams.

With the transformation underway in the labor market, where the focus is increasingly on the use of digitization, many will find that the labor market now favors workers who are familiar with or have been exposed to the use information technology.

Those working in the service industry are quickly faced with the growing importance of IT and telecommunications in service delivery. This has serious implications for recruiting and hiring new employees. Employers can be expected to travel to hire new employees who are well prepared for the jobs offered.

The recruited workforce is expected to have the skills and knowledge required to work in the digital and robotic age. At this point, it cannot be ruled out that the element of bias may become a factor, as employers are more inclined to recruit and hire younger workers than older, more experienced ones.

With a transformation experienced in the various employment sectors, one has the feeling that many of those who held traditional jobs will now join the ranks of the unemployed.

Although the International Labor Convention # 111 on Discrimination (Employment and Occupation 1958) exists, there remains a serious concern that many, due to age, may nonetheless be discriminated against when it comes to new hires.

According to Article 1 of Convention 111, discrimination includes any distinction, exclusion or preference based on race, color, sex, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin which has as its basis the effect of nullifying or undermining equality of opportunity or treatment in employment or occupation.

There is perhaps cause for concern, as there is no reference to age in ILO Convention 111. This may give rise to some concern, given that the Convention is one of the eight fundamental conventions of the International Labor Organization.

Age discrimination is described as the unfavorable treatment of an employee because of his or her age. It is quite possible that as the ongoing transformation of the global market continues, many people, due to age and the absence of labor laws, may fall victim to recruitment, policies and practices. hiring.

The United States of America, through the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), has sought to address this problem. The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of age against persons aged 40 or over. The law prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment. This includes hiring, firing, pay, employment, assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, benefits and any other condition of employment. This is largely what is needed if a level playing field is to be achieved.

For a level playing field to be reached, this means that discrimination in employment should no longer be a problem.

However, for this to happen, gender and disability issues would need to be addressed. In addition, that employers refrain from engaging in recruitment and hiring practices that aim to exclude or marginalize people on the basis of their gender or disability.

In some parts of the world, as is evident in countries in the Far East and the Middle East, gender discrimination based on male and female prejudice remains a controversial topic. This is not to say that there are no pockets of the same practiced in Western societies.

To begin with, there are cultural and customary barriers for women working in certain occupations and professions. There is the issue of the rates of pay that apply to men as opposed to women. Where this practice exists, it requires an amendment to be made to ensure compliance with the Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100).

The Western world is now trying to determine how
it can best integrate members of the LGBTQ + 1 community into the workplace. Why is this a challenge? It starts with the stigma and profiling of individuals. This gives rise to acts of prejudice and discrimination that are directed against people who exercise their right and personal choice to be lesbian, gay, bi or transgender. The problem becomes a problem of acceptance, and as a result, people are often prone to ridicule, intimidation, contempt, rejection, mental and physical violence.

When it comes to employing people with disabilities, employers tend to avoid this. In general, and in principle, they are called upon to ensure suitable access for disabled employees. The cost of making special arrangements to accommodate workers with disabilities may be viewed by some employers as an additional inconvenience.

On the other side of the coin, we must raise the red flags of the disproportionate haste of some employers, who initiate the process of withdrawing workers from the company or organization, once they have acquired a form handicap.

Questions are quickly raised about the ability of the individual to work. Many employees are subject to the examination of a physician or a group of physicians, who decide on the suitability of the individual to continue working. Ideally, discrimination in employment would be a thing of the past. To this end, it is urged that there be recognition and respect for the fundamental rights of all workers.

This would include the right to work, job security, the right to leisure, the right to education, the right to maternity leave, the right to sick pay, the right to workers’ compensation. , the right to social security in the event of unemployment for other reasons, the right to old age security, the right to a salary commensurate with the technique of the work performed, the right to a progressive increase in the standard of living, the right to a progressive elevation of cultural norms, the right of female workers to be treated at the same level as male workers and the right to a safe workplace.

Dennis De Peiza is a labor and employee relations consultant on the Regional Management Services Inc website: www.regionalmanagement services.com

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