DoLE issues guidelines for ‘safe spaces’ law

Published by rudy Date posted on December 30, 2021

By Franco Jose C. Baroña, 30 Dec 2021, Manila Times

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) has issued guidelines for the implementation of the Safe Spaces Act or Republic Act (RA) 11313, better known as the “Bawal Bastos” Law.

Department Order 230 series of 2021 provides methods and interventions, including redress mechanisms, in cases of gender-based sexual harassment (GBSH) in the workplace for kasambahay (house helpers), workers in the informal economy, and those employed in establishments with 10 or fewer employees.

RA 11313 aims to better protect informal workers from GBSH.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd issued the Labor department’s guidelines for the order defining GBSH as specific acts penalized by RA 11313, which may be committed either in the streets or public spaces, online, workplace, and educational and training institutions.

Under the law, GBSHs are unwanted and uninvited sexual actions or remarks against any person regardless of the motive for committing such action or remarks.

To ensure full compliance with the law, the DoLE order mandates employers in the informal economy to orient their workers in the establishments and households on the Safe Spaces Act.

For the kasambahay, the work contract must guarantee the worker’s protection from sexual harassment.

Employers or other persons of authority, influence or moral ascendancy in the establishment are also mandated to prevent, deter or punish the commission of acts of GBSH in the workplace.

Bello said that the DoLE shall conduct yearly random inspections.

Complaints can be filed at DoLE attached agencies and regional, provincial, field or satellite offices that are nearest to the employees’ workplace, residence or place where the alleged violation was committed.

“We enjoin everyone to report to DoLE non-compliance or violations of employers to these rules,” Bello said in a statement.

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