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Amid COVID-19 Scare DOLE says companies may adopt flexible work arrangements


Companies may adopt flexible work arrangements (FWAs) to cushion them against the adverse impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, the DOLE-RO I today announced. 

By issuing Labor Advisory No. 09, series of 2020 Wednesday, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III has set the guidelines to assist employers and employees in the implementation of various FWAs as alternative coping mechanisms and remedial measures. 

DOLE-RO I Regional Director Nathaniel V. Lacambra said the intent of the LA is to protect both workers and employers from COVID-19, spare businesses from income losses or closure and prevent termination of employee services. 

FWAs refer to alternative arrangements or schedules other than the traditional or standard workhours, workdays and workweek. 

The LA proposes the following FWAs that companies may adopt: (1) Reduction of workhours and/or workdays, where the normal workhours or workdays per week are reduced; (2) Rotation of workers where employees are rotated or alternately provided work within the week; and (3) Forced Leave where the employees are required to go on leave for several days or weeks utilizing their leave credits, if there are any. 

Employers and workers, however, are encouraged to explore other alternative work arrangements in order to cushion and mitigate the effect of the loss of income of the latter, the LA said. 

The LA further provides that differences in interpretation of the FWA shall be treated as grievances under the applicable mechanism of the company, or if grievance mechanism is inadequate, the grievance shall be referred to the DOLE Regional Office which has jurisdiction over the workplace for conciliation. 

Employers are required to keep and maintain the documentary requirements proving that the FWA was adopted to facilitate the resolution of grievances. 

Establishments implementing FWAs are likewise required to post a copy of the LA in a conspicuous location in the workplace. 

The DOLE RO or field office having jurisdiction over the workplace shall monitor the proper implementation of FWAs. END/Arly Sta. Ana-Valdez

RD Nat V. Lacambra
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