Bill for “right to disconnect” filed in the Philippines

If House Bill 10717 is enacted, it could be against the law for employers to contact their staff outside working hours.
By: | February 4, 2022

The “Workers’ Rest” bill filed by Rep. Joaquin Chipeco (Calamba City) recently seeks to define the “rest hours” of employees to ensure their welfare. Employers who violate it will be punished.

“The ascendancy of the digital technology, triggered to a great extent by the pandemic, has practically blurred the delicate line between the home and the workplace so much so that many employees have been reduced to an ‘on call’ status at practically any time of the day,” Chipeco said in his explanatory note.

The following would be prohibited if the “Workers’ Rest” bill becomes a law: 

  • Requiring the employee to work outside of work hours.
  • Requiring the employee to be on duty, to travel, to be assigned to a place in connection with work outside of work hours.
  • Contacting the employee for work and work-related purposes using telephone, e-mail, message, and other communication outside of work hours unless the employee is notified in connection with the emergency or urgent work set forth in Article 89 and Article 92 of the Labor Code.
  • Punishing the employee who does not respond to communication during rest hours.

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Many workers (especially those who work-from-home) work excessively for the maximum hours of work required by law under the “new normal” which is not good for employees’ mental health and will also affect their solidarity with their families, Chipeco said, according to Philippines Lifestyle News.