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New Section 69F - Discrimination in Employment

Updated: May 20, 2022

Latest Update: 16-5-2022

1. The Employment (Amendment) Bill 2021 ("the Bill") was presented on October 25, 2021.
2. Dewan Rakyat approved the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2021 on March 21, 2022.
3. Dewan Negara passed the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2021 on March 30, 2022.
4. The Employment (Amendment) Act 2022 was gazetted into law on May 10, 2022.

However, [As of 16-5-2022] the Act has not yet come into force.

[In force means that the Act or the secondary legislation has the force of law.]

1. 《2021年就业(修订)法案》("法案")于2021年10月25日在国会提交。
2. 下议院于2022年3月21日批准了《2021年就业(修订)法案》。
3. 上议院于2022年3月30日也通过了《2021年就业(修订)法案》。
4. 作为立法,2022年5月10日,《2022年就业(修正)法案》在宪报上颁布。

然而请注意,[截至2022年5月16日] 此法尚未生效


Source: ILO Discrimination in employment and occupation: general description and bases for discrimination

Question: What does the term “discrimination in employment and occupation” mean?

Answer: "Discrimination in employment and occupation" refers to practices that have the effect of placing certain individuals in a position of subordination or disadvantage in the labour market or the workplace because of their race, colour, religion, sex, political opinion, national extraction, social origin or any other attribute which bears no relation to the job to be performed.

Discriminatory practices can be direct or indirect. Direct discrimination arises when an explicit distinction, preference or exclusion is made on one or more grounds. For example, a job advertisement for “men only” would constitute direct discrimination.

Indirect discrimination refers to situations, measures or practices that are apparently neutral but which in fact have a negative impact on persons from a certain group. The latter type of discrimination, because of its more hidden nature, is the most difficult to tackle.

Equality of opportunity and treatment allows all individuals to fully develop their talents and skills according to their aspirations and preferences, and to enjoy equal access to employment as well as equal working conditions. To achieve full freedom from discrimination in employment and occupation, the mere removal of discriminatory practices does not suffice. It is also necessary to promote equality of opportunity and treatment in the workplace at all stages of the employment relationship, including recruitment, retention, promotion and termination practices, remuneration, access to vocational training, and skills development.

问: "就业和职业歧视 "一词是什么意思?

答:"就业和职业歧视 "是指在劳动力市场或工作中使某些人处于从属或不利地位的做法。"就业和职业歧视 "是指由于种族、肤色、宗教、性别、政治观点、民族血统、社会出身或与所从事工作无关的任何其他属性,使某些人在劳动力市场或工作场所处于从属或不利地位的做法。

歧视性做法可以是直接或间接的。当基于一个或多个理由做出明确的区分、偏爱或排斥时,就会产生直接歧视。例如,"只招男性 "的招聘广告就构成了直接歧视。




Question: What are the prohibited bases of discrimination in employment?

Answer: Bases of discrimination identified and prohibited in various International Labour Standards[1] include:

Distinctions based on race and/or colour are largely rooted in social and economic factors that do not have any objective basis. They commonly involve discrimination against an ethnic group or indigenous or tribal population.

Sex discrimination includes distinctions made on the basis of biological characteristics and functions that distinguish men and women, and on the basis of social differences between men and women.

Physical distinctions include any job specifications which are not essential to carry out the prescribed duties, e.g., minimum height or weight requirements which do not impact job performance.

Social distinctions include civil status, marital status, family situation, and maternity[2].

Women are most commonly affected by discrimination based on sex, especially in the case of indirect discrimination.

Religious discrimination includes distinctions made on the basis of the expression of religious beliefs or membership in a religious group.

This also includes discrimination against people who do not ascribe to a particular religious belief or are atheists.

Although discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs should not be permitted, there may be legitimate bases for imposing requirements in the workplace which restrict the worker’s freedom to practice a particular religion.

For instance, a religion may prohibit work on a day different from the day of rest established by law or custom; a religion may require a special type of clothing that may not be compatible with safety equipment; a religion may prescribe dietary restrictions or daily routines during work hours which may be difficult for the establishment to fully accommodate, or an employment position may require an oath incompatible with a religious belief or practice.

In these cases, the worker's right to practice fully his or her faith or belief at the workplace needs to be weighed against the need to meet genuine requirements inherent in the job or operational requirements.

Discrimination based on political opinion includes membership in a political party; expressed political, socio-political, or moral attitudes; or civic commitment.

Workers should be protected against discrimination in employment based on activities expressing their political views, but this protection does not extend to politically motivated acts of violence.

National extraction includes distinctions made on the basis of a person’s place of birth, ancestry, or foreign origin; for instance, national or linguistic minorities, nationals who have acquired their citizenship by naturalization, and/or descendants of foreign immigrants.

Social origin includes social class, socio-occupational category, and caste. The social origin may be used to deny certain groups of people access to various categories of jobs or limit them to certain types of activities.

Discrimination based on social origin denies the victim the possibility to move from one class or social category to another.

For instance, in some parts of the world, certain "castes" are considered to be inferior and therefore confined to the most menial jobs.

Age is also a prohibited basis for discrimination. Older workers are often liable to encounter difficulties in employment and occupation because of prejudices about their capacities and willingness to learn; a tendency to discount their experiences; and market pressures to hire younger workers who are often cheaper to employ[3].

Younger workers under the age of 25 may also face discrimination.

Biased treatment against younger workers can take many forms, including overrepresentation in casual jobs with lower benefits, training opportunities, and career prospects; payment of lower entry wages even in low skilled jobs where such a wage differential is difficult to justify on grounds of lower productivity; and longer probation periods and much greater reliance on flexible forms of contract[4].

HIV/AIDS status: Persons living with HIV/AIDS often suffer discrimination in the workplace and in the community. There should be no discrimination or stigmatization of workers on the basis of real or perceived HIV status.

HIV/AIDS screening should not be required of job applicants or persons in employment. HIV infection is not a valid ground for termination of employment. Persons with HIV-related illnesses should be able to work for as long as medically fit under inappropriate conditions[5].

Disability: Worldwide, approximately 800 million people of working age have a disability. While many are successfully employed and fully integrated into society, as a group, persons with disabilities often face disproportionate poverty and unemployment. In this context, non-discrimination also includes taking positive steps where feasible to accommodate particular workplace needs that workers with disabilities may have[6].

Sexual orientation: Men and women workers may suffer from discrimination if they are known or believed to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender; and may be subjected to verbal, psychological and physical intimidation or violence from the employer, supervisor or other workers[7].

Workers with family responsibilities: Current trends in working time in industrialized, developing and transition economies alike are putting increased pressure on workers with family responsibilities. “Family responsibilities” includes care of children and any other dependents[8].

The definition of persons constituting "family" may be broad and could be formulated after consultation with the workers concerned or their representatives. Workers who have family responsibilities are often discriminated against in hiring, job assignment, access to training, and promotion.

Enterprises should avoid discriminating against workers with family responsibilities. While having regard to operational needs, enterprises are encouraged to avoid excessively long hours, unpredictable over time that makes it difficult to plan for the care of family members and schedule work on traditional days of rest.

Trade union membership or activities: All workers have the right to form and join trade unions, and to participate as members or leaders in trade union activities[9] and should not be discriminated against for lawfully exercising this right.

Other bases: More generally, discrimination at work includes any “distinction, exclusion or preference … which has the effect of nullifying or impairing equality of opportunity or treatment in employment or occupation.”[10]

Workers should be selected only on the basis of their ability to do the job. Enterprises are encouraged to review their hiring and other employment practices for potential bases of discrimination which may result in treating some jobseekers or workers less favorably than others because of characteristics that are not related to the person’s competencies or the inherent requirements of the job.

[1] Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111), Article 1(a). [2] For further details see Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183) and Recommendation (No. 191) ; and Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981 (No. 156) and Recommendation (No. 165). [3] Older Workers Recommendation, 1980 (No. 162). [4]