Date
17 December 2017
Almost two-thirds of people who said they have been discriminated at work cited age as the factor, a Hong Kong study has found. Photo: AFP
Almost two-thirds of people who said they have been discriminated at work cited age as the factor, a Hong Kong study has found. Photo: AFP

Age discrimination at workplace still a probem in HK: study

Age-related discrimination is a cause for concern in Hong Kong, a study by the Equal Opportunities Commission has found, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Friday.

Small and medium-sized enterprises are especially struggling with the issue as they lack the resources to formulate proper guidelines on prevention of discrimination, and are often found to have very low awareness of discrimination ordinance and regulations, the report said.

Apart from age, gender discrimination and sexual harassment are also significant workplace discrimination problems in the city.

According to the commission’s latest research released Thursday, 18 percent of respondents said they had been discriminated against or harassed on the job or while working.

Of those who said they were discriminated against, 64 percent, or nearly two-thirds, cited age as the factor.

Twenty-one percent said they experienced gender discrimination while 17 percent said they faced sexual harassment.

Hong Kong’s overall 18 percent discrimination rate in workplace is still way below the international average of 40 percent.

However, John Tse Wing-ling, the Equal Opportunities Commission’s policy and research committee convener, stressed that the position of the commission is to bear no tolerance to discrimination cases.

As the study suggests that almost one in every five people have faced discrimination, the issue needs to be addressed, he said.

Hong Kong is yet to have an anti-age-discrimination legislation, and the definition of such discrimination is also very vague.

The commission is undertaking an in-depth study about age discrimination in the workplace, with a view to drawing a final conclusion next year.

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