The Department of Labor and Employment has crafted new rules to encourage both employers and workers to adopt work-from-home setups in support of economic recovery.
Labor Sec. Bienvenido Laguesma on Friday signed a department order on revised implementing rules and regulations of the Telecommuting Law, the DOLE said in a statement.
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Under the revised rules, an 'alternative workplace' is defined as any location where an employee performs work through telecommunication including but not limited to the worker's home, co-working spaces, or other spaces that allow remote work.
A 'regular workplace' meanwhile is defined as the principal place of business or any branch office provided by the employer where employees regularly report to or perform work.
The new rules clarify that work performed by employees in an alternative workplace is considered work performed in the regular workplace. Employees on a WFH setup however are not considered field personnel except when their actual hours of work cannot be determined with reasonable certainty.
“The terms and conditions of telecommuting shall not be less than minimum labor 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 new rules stated.
“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.
While implementing a WFH scheme is voluntary, Laguesma called on employers and employees to implement such work setups as the economy gradually recovers from two years of strict lockdowns.
“This aims to sustain our efforts for economic recovery,” he said.
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