DOLE Releases Guidelines on Employment Preservation Upon Resumption of Business Operations
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), under the Labor Advisory No. 17 Series of 2020, releases guidelines on employment preservation as an aid to employers who are restarting their business operations. The guidelines are set to encourage employment retention and provide alternatives to employee termination.
The advisory covers the following:
- All employers
- All employees in the private sector (notwithstanding employment status)
All employers of businesses whose operations are allowed to resume shall comply with the minimum health standards set under the following issuances:
- Department of Trade and industry (DTI) and and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Interim Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19
- Department Order No. 35 Series of 2020 on Construction Safety Guidelines for the Implementation of All DPWH Infrastructure Projects During the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis
- Department Memorandum No. 2020-0220 on Interim Guidelines for Return-To-Work
WORK FROM HOME (WFH) OR TELECOMMUTING WORK ARRANGEMENT
Work from home is highly encouraged. Businesses who are implementing work from home or telecommuting arrangement, pursuant to Department order No. 202 Series of 2019, shall provide sufficient support to their employees to perform their assigned duties.
ALTERNATIVE WORK SCHEMES
Businesses may adopt any or a combination of the following:
- Transfer of employees to a different branch or outlet
- Designating employees to a different function in the same branch or a different outlet under the same employer
- Reduction of workdays
- Adopting job rotation to apportion work to employees within the workweek or within the month
- Partial establishment closure to allow selective cessation of departments. Some units may be closed while the others continue with their operations.
- Other achievable work arrangements considering differences of varying business requirements.
Alternative work schemes shall be temporary in nature and embraced for as long as the public health crisis remains.
This will serve as an alternative to employment termination or business closure.
WAGES AND WAGE-RELATED BENEFITS
Temporary adjustments of wages and wage-related benefits declared under the existing employment contract, company policy or Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) may be agreed upon by the employee and employer voluntarily and in writing.
Wage adjustments and benefits shall not exceed six (6) months or the agreed period as indicated under the CBA and therefore, must be subject for review and renewal.
ENTITLEMENT OF SEPARATED EMPLOYEES
Pursuant to Labor Advisory No. 6, Series of 2020, final pay shall be granted to employees who are separated from employment due to valid causes without any bias to the benefits stated under the law, company policy, and/or CBA.
Employers shall submit the following requirements pursuant to the stipulated form of the Bureau of Working Conditions:
- Report the adopted alternative working schemes
- Submit certified copy of all agreements
- Accomplish and submit establishment termination report to designated DOLE Regional Office