New guidelines established in the Philippines to address WFH concerns
Labour Secretary of the Philippines Bienvenido Laguesma recently signed Department Order 237, which contains the revised implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 11165, or the telecommuting law.
The revised guidelines, according to Laguesma, “clarify and adequately address issues and concerns of the telecommuting sector” and were developed after conversations with various sectors. Members of the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council, a body headed by the labour secretary and composed of labour and employer representatives, also gave their approval.
The new rules state that “the terms and conditions of telecommuting shall not be less than minimum labour standards and shall not in any way diminish or impair the terms and conditions of employment contained in any applicable company policy or practice, individual contract, or collective bargaining agreement.”
The order defines a “regular workplace” as an office or physical premise established or provided by the employer where employees report to work, while an “alternative workplace” is any location where employees perform tasks via telecommunication and/or technology.
The order also said work performed in the alternative workspace shall be considered the same as work in the regular workspace, and telecommuting employees are not field personnel unless their work hours cannot be determined with reasonable certainty.
“All time that an employee is required to be on duty, and all time that an employee is permitted or suffered to work in the alternative workplace shall be counted as hours worked,” it added, according to CNN Philippines.