Employees who prefer working from home instead of onsite can continue to do so under Alert Level 1 or the "new normal" as long as they arrange it with their employers, the Department of Labor and Employment said Friday.
Under Alert Level 1, onsite work is allowed at 100% capacity provided that the workplace implements safety protocols like wearing of face masks and physical distancing.
"Dahil alam naman po natin na during this pandemic, may work from home na naging productive din na maganda rin naman po ang output, puwede naman din ipagpatuloy 'yun," said Tess Cucueco, director of DOLE's Bureau of Working Conditions.
The leeway to work from home is allowed under the Telecommuting Law signed in 2018 as a response to traffic congestion in urban centers. During the pandemic, remote work was implemented to ensure physical distancing.
While there are some jobs that require workers' physical presence, such as those in manufacturing, machine operations, and construction, Cucueco said some employees proved to their companies that they could thrive at home and other alternative work sites during the two-year pandemic.
"If the company feels na very productive pa rin naman ang pagtatrabaho not only now at home but in alternative work sites, puwede po 'yan pero may mga requirement lang po para mabigyan ng pagbabantay din sa nag-a-alternative work arrangement," she said.
She reminded employees who want to request for work from home arrangements to institutionalize it in writing. The agreement should include their schedule and scope of work done to avoid overworking employees.
"If they will continue doing work after 5 p.m., that should be considered overtime and they should be paid overtime work as well. 'Yun po ay dapat nakasulat talaga."
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