The pandemic has taken our lives into an unexpected turn. With the health hazards, we are all at home to stay safe. But we do have to pay our bills. That’s why working from home is now the standard for everyone in the Philippines.
But not every company is equipped to handle this setup. And it’s taking its toll on our workers.
No Separation for Work and Life
A lot of companies think that people are free to work because, well, they are at home. So some expect them to be on call the whole day.
Gone are the days when your work ends at the stroke of the clock. Right now, team leaders can just ping you online. I mean. What are you doing anyway?
Well, your life?!
It’s quite unfair because life is not all about work. That’s why there are movements and legislative lobbying for fair work treatment amidst this pandemic. So here are two movements that you might need to know.
With Labor Advisory 01 s. 2022, the Department of Labour (DOLE) encourages companies to provide additional leaves for quarantined workers.
We all want to be safe. And if you’re quarantined for 14 days, you ensure that you recover from COVID while not passing it to other people.
But some don’t report their symptoms because 14 days of quarantine will dent their budget. Not everyone has the emergency fund to live off through the period.
That’s why some companies grant quarantine leaves as an additional benefit just in case. Although, it’s just “encouragement” and not required. But you should be aware just in case your company offers it.
On top of this, you can avail of the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) from SSS for cash assistance, medical reimbursement, and sickness benefits.
Senate Bill No. 2475: Worker’s Rest Law
It’s our right to rest. It’s not a reward. We all deserve it.
But the boundaries between work and life balance are quite challenged with our work-from-home setup. Sometimes, we can’t say no when our bosses contact us over the weekend or after working hours.
That’s why Senator Francis Tolentino filed Senate Bill No. 2475 or the Worker’s Rest Law. It aims to solidify our right to our personal time after work.
What Is It?
Senate Bill No. 2475 prohibits employers from exacting work or contacting employees, without the latter’s consent, during rest hours.
As mandated by the proposed bill, working hours should not exceed 8 hours (regular work hours) or 12 hours (if under compressed workweek arrangement), unless provided by the labor code.
It’s similar to France’s “right to disconnect” or Portugal’s banning of employers contacting workers outside regular hours. And it’s a needed boundary for most overworked Filipino workers today.
For companies that will violate the proposed law, a monetary sanction will be imposed or it can escalate to imprisonment if coercion happened or it resulted in discrimination.
The proposed sanction is a P1,000 per hour fine for the work rendered during the prescribed hours.
And as for grave cases with coercion or discrimination, the employer will face between one month to 6 months of imprisonment with a fine of over P100,000.
Who is Covered?
This bill encompasses all employees in all establishments and undertakings whether for profit or not. However, the measure would not apply to field personnel, domestic helpers, persons in the personal service of another, and workers “paid by results.”
What do you think of these advancements in our remote working laws? Do you think it’s much needed? Let us know your opinions! And we will keep you posted with the latest developments for these topics. Cheers!