By Hannah Mallorca
Features Writer, The Philippine STAR

AS a result of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), which will run until April 30, companies from various sectors have implemented a “work from home” arrangement. The STAR’s CareerGuide section recently invited representatives from the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to clarify employee guidelines and provide insights on working from home amid the pandemic.

Ma. Teresita S. Cucueco

The Facebook live discussion featured Labor and Employment Undersecretary Atty. Ana Dione, OIC-Assistant Secretary Dominique Rubia-Tutay, OIC-Assistant Secretary Ma. Teresita Cucueco, and Tech Mahindra HR manager Mayeth Reyes.

Use of leave credits

One of the employees’ concerns is the use of leave credits during the quarantine, as many netizens stated that not all sectors can bring their work at home.

Ms. Dione informed that the DoLE released Labor Advisory Nos. 4, 9 and 11 to guide employees on when to use these leaves.

An employee’s leave of absence may be charged to his sick or vacation leave credits under the company policy. Employers are considered to implement leave of absence without pay if credits are used up. Despite this, employers are encouraged to grant additional leave with pay.

Flexible work arrangements are considered, citing reduction of work hours or work days, rotation of workers and forced leaves.

Flexible work arrangements for employers. Employees in healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and delivery sectors are advised to operate, provided that proper safety and health measures are observed.

Atty. Ana C. Dione

Pero dito sa hindi makapag-implement ng work from home, necessarily, there is reduced income since hindi makapasok. If mayroon kang available leave credits, you may use your leave credits so that yung period na covered ang leave credits mo, you will receive salary,” added Ms. Dione.

On the other hand, Ms. Cucueco emphasized that companies should provide accommodation and transportation for their employees if they need to report to work, citing it as a requirement mandated by the International Automotive Task Force.

“They should be providing nearby accommodations so they can practice social distancing and other health measures. They should try to find someplace nearby or if not, a shuttle within the area,” added Ms. Cucueco.

Compensation for employees

Provides assistance to affected workers in the formal sector, regardless of status (i.e. permanent, probationary, or contractual), who are affected by Flexible Work Arrangements or temporary closure

For displaced or disadvantaged (“no work, no pay” or reduced salary), minimum wage earners, underemployed and self-employed workers in the informal sector

According to Ms. Dione, companies are encouraged to provide relief assistance to their employees — so they can provide their families with basic necessities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can access DOLE’s Labor Advisory No. 04, Labor Advisory No. 09, Labor Advisory No. 11, CAMP’s guidelines and forms and information about TUPAD #Barangay Ko, Bahay Ko program on DOLE’s official website.

For more information about job openings and advertising options, visit CareerGuide PH on Facebook.