Employers urged to grant paid quarantine leave in the Philippines
Although the practice is not compulsory, the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) is encouraging all employers to do so to curb the spread of the virus.
All employees in the private sector who are close contacts of COVID-19 cases or are suspect, probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases are required to quarantine or isolate themselves at home or in a facility, according to a Labor Advisory 01 s. 2022 issued by the Department of Labour recently.
“Employers are urged, in consultation with the employees or employees’ representative if any, to adopt and implement an appropriate paid isolation and quarantine leave programme on top of existing leave benefits under the company policy, Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Labour Code of the Philippines, and special laws,” said the advisory.
“The paid isolation and quarantine leaves shall be without prejudice to other benefits provided by the Social Security System and the Employees Compensation Commission,” labor secretary Silvestre Bello III said in the advisory.
Although many workers have been able to shift to remote work or work from home arrangements since the pandemic struck, many more must report to work on-site, even at limited capacity due to Alert Level 3 restrictions.
This is despite the positivity rate in Metro Manila being 50%, meaning one in every two samples tested is positive for the coronavirus, data from think tank OCTA showed, according to Philstar Global.