Home Sweet Office: Mandatory Work-From-Home Proposed

A bill seeking to make the work-from home arrangement manadatory is being pushed in the Senate amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Senate Bill No. 1448, which was filed by Senator Imee Marcos, is an amendment to Republic Act No. 11165 or the "Telecommuting Act" that allows an employee to carry out tasks from an alternative workplace using telecommunication and/or computer technologies.

"Clearly, a 'new normal' of social distancing, new hygiene standards, and limited physical contact shall prevail into the future." she said.

The proposal covers those who don't need to be physically present in the office to fulfill their duties and have been employed for at least a year.

"Various sectors, including the labor sector, have to make major modifications in their policy to ensure compliance with social distancing measures," part of the bill's explanatory note read.

“This bill, thus, seeks to strengthen the Telecommuting Law by making it mandatory, and not merely optional, for employers to offer telecommuting as an alternative to employees whose physical presence in the workplace is not absolutely essential to the performance of their functions.”

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Under the bill, attendance in the workplace can be required by the employer "within office hours and during weekdays, but not more than twice a week."

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