By DONA MAGSINO,GMA News, 3 Dec 2019
Implementing a compressed workweek in the private sector is not mandatory and should not result in decreased benefits for the employees, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that the flexible work arrangement, which allows the reduction of the normal workweek to less than six days, should be voluntarily agreed upon by both the employer and employees.
“Its effectivity and implementation should be voluntary. We do not force them to implement the work scheme, because this is part of management prerogative. Both parties have the autonomy to reach an agreement as long as it does not violate our labor laws,” he added.
Based on Department Advisory No. 4 Series of 2010, the number of working days will be reduced but the number of working hours per week will remain the same under this arrangement.
“The normal workday is increased to more than eight hours, but not to exceed 12 hours without corresponding overtime premium,” the DOLE statement read.
Bello said that the main goal of the compressed workweek is to boost business competitiveness and productivity while promoting work-life balance among the workers.
He stressed that fewer working days should not mean a cutback on the existing benefits of the employees.
Firms and employees who find the compressed workweek problematic for their operations may revert to their normal work arrangements, he added.
Earlier this year, DOLE also released rules for another scheme—work from home.
Republic Act 11165 or the Telecommuting Act allows private sector employees to work outside their offices with the use of telecommunication or computer technologies.
Recently, a lawmaker at the House of Representatives proposed a four-day workweek for non-frontline government agencies situated along EDSA during the holiday season, in a bid to help ease traffic congestion. —LDF, GMA News