Labor dep’t may require ‘women’s desk’ at work

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THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said it is in the considering establishing a “women’s desk” in its regional offices within the year and may ask workplaces to set up desks of their own to deal with women’s work-related concerns.

In an interview with BusinessWorld on Wednesday, Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) Director Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla said “The concept is still being written at the moment.”

She added that the idea of requiring establishments to put up a women’s desk came from recently-dimissed Undersecretary Joel B. Maglunsod. “It’s the brainchild of Usec JoMag,” she added.

The women’s desk will be in charge with dealing with female workers and their working conditions and labor relations in the company.

Ms. Trayvilla said the women’s desk in workplaces and at the DoLE regional offices is different from the women and children’s desk that is mandatory for barangays to handle domestic violence cases. There currently are no venues to air women’s workplace concerns.

DoLE will pilot-test the women’s desk in its regional offices before rolling out the concept for workplaces.

She said DoLE’s timetable for launch in all workplaces is by next year, with a focus on large firms with the resources to comply.

“It will also entail logistics” and additional personnel, she said.

Micro, small, and medium enterprises may be made to direct any issues initially to the women’s desks being set up at DoLE regional offices, Ms. Trayvilla said.

According to data provided by the BWSC, major industries with a female majority as of January 2018 include: fishing and aquaculture, manufacturing, wholesale and retail, accommodation and food services, public administration, and education, among others. — Gillian M. Cortez