The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) vehemently condemned the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Order No. 215-20 which allows the extension of floating status for workers beyond the original six months as stipulated in the Labor Code.

DOLE 1 - Labor group chides DOLE for extending floating status of workers beyond six months

BMP president Luke Espiritu said the order allows employers to minimize, if not totally circumvent, the payment of separation pay commensurate to the length of service employees have rendered.

“This measure blatantly eschews any recognition of the worsening conditions of Filipino workers under the pandemic,” he said.

BMP pointed out that D.O. 215 merely legitimizes an already rampant practice by employers since the COVID-19 pandemic began. According to them, thousands of workers have been put under floating status since the first months of the pandemic.

They also averred that, like the previous Labor Advisory 17, which enabled companies to reduce wages and benefits, D.O. 215 is prone to abuse by employers.

“There are no measures in place for the DOLE to verify if the extension of suspension is actually necessary for a company’s survival. Employers merely have to notify DOLE of the extension 10 days prior to its effectivity. As such, D.O. 215 can be used as another tool for union-busting and other unfair labor practices,” he said.

BMP also underscored that D.O. 215 is blatantly illegal for it is only Congress that has the power to amend the Labor Code, especially for an issue as damaging to the working class as the extension of floating status.

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