Employers in the Philippines urged to prioritise mental health
The Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) of the Philippines is calling upon employers to expand their support systems by offering additional paid leave and flexible work arrangements to their employees.
Bienvenido Laguesma, Secretary of Labour and Employment of the Philippines, underscored the importance of extending paid leave benefits to employees who require further medical attention in addition to the existing leave benefits outlined in organisational policies, collective bargaining agreements, and the Labour Code.
Laguesma emphasised a collective approach, explaining, “Employers and their employees shall have shared responsibility to ensure the effective implementation of mental health policies and programmes.” He further urged employers to ensure that their workforce has access to effective mental health and self-care services.
To promote employee mental health, Laguesma encouraged employers to consider various measures, including flexible work arrangements, the adjustment of work hours, telecommuting options, and other benefits. Additionally, employers are now required to annually submit a medical report to their respective DOLE regional office, detailing the number of mental health cases handled or referred to providers.
He also highlighted the importance of fostering a supportive workplace environment by implementing activities and programmes that promote mental health awareness and wellbeing among employees.
For employees, DOLE advised them to take advantage of healthcare services and facilities accredited by the Philippine Health Insurance if they require further evaluation of their mental health, reported Philstar.