PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

GOVERNMENT employees who contract coronavirus disease or become probable cases in line with official duty can take time off from work during the quarantine, isolation and treatment period without being charged from their leave credits, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) announced Wednesday.

The new policy, which previously applied only to health workers, is contained in a memorandum issued Jan. 18. The leave period will be considered an “excused absence,” according to the commission. 

CSC said “there is a need to consider the predicament of government workers aside from PHWs (public health workers) who are repeatedly exposed to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) in performing their official duties due to face-to-face interaction with clients and co-workers, or due to community transmission.” 

Those who are probable cases or asymptomatic and undergoing the required quarantine while waiting for the result of the swab test “may be required to adopt a Work-from-Home arrangement depending on the nature of work of the employee” based on existing guidelines on remote work.

For officials and employees who go on personal travel, “only the required quarantine period may be excused, while the isolation and/or treatment period shall be charged against leave credits,” CSC said.

The memorandum enumerates the required documents to be presented upon returning to work. Human resource departments are tasked to monitor the implementation of the COVID-related leaves. 

Office heads, meanwhile, are directed “to ensure that efficiency and productivity work standards are met, and that delivery of public service is not prejudiced during the required quarantine, isolation, and/or treatment of concerned officials and employees,” the commission said. — Marifi S. Jara