Sen. Joel Villanueva maintained that salaries and benefits of workers should not be reduced by employers implementing work-from-home arrangements.

JOEL9 - Maintain pay of work-from-home employees – Villanueva
Sen. Joel Villanueva
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

The chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor said provisions of Republic Act No. 11165 or Telecommuting Law say that employees who work from their homes should receive the same wages and social protection benefits as those reporting to their offices.

“Malinaw pong nakasaad sa probisyon ng Work From Home Law o Republic Act No. 11165 at kaakibat na implementing rules and regulation na buong matatanggap ang sahod at benepisyo ng mga manggagawa na magtatrabaho sa kani-kanilang mga tahanan (The provisions of the RA No. 11165 and its implementing rules and regulations are clear that the salaries and benefits should be received entirely by workers who are working in their homes),” Villlanueva, author and sponsor of the law in Senate, said in a statement Sunday.

“Ginagarantiyahan rin po ng Work From Home law ang pagpapanatili ng social protection para sa mga manggagawa. Kaya po dapat “as is” ang sahod at benepisyo ng mga manggagawang sasailalim sa Work From Home na work arrangement (The work-from-home law also guarantees social protection for these workers. So the salaries and benefits of employees who are under the work-from-home arrangement should be as is),” he added.

Aside from giving work-life balance, Villanueva said the law was crafted to give workers and their employers the flexibility to enable them to continue their operations in times of emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Telecommuting Act, enacted in December 2018, recognizes work-from-home as an alternative work arrangement in the private sector. Under the law, the employer can adopt the telecommuting arrangement on a voluntary basis but should abide by minimum labor standards, which include compensable work hours, minimum number of work hours, overtime, rest days, and entitlement to leave benefits.

The law also ensures the “fair treatment” of telecommuting employees that like those working in their traditional workplace, they are also entitled to overtime and night shift differential, regular holidays, special nonworking holidays, equivalent workload and standards, and development opportunities, among others.

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