President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law a policy that institutionalizes work-from-home arrangements in the private sector.
The law recognizes telecommuting, or when an employee of a company works from an alternative workplace using telecommunications and other computer technologies, as a legitimate work arrangement.
Officially known as the Telecommuting Act, it was signed by Duterte on December 20, 2018, but only released to the public on Thursday, January 10. It is also known as Republic Act No. 11165.
According to the law, an employer in the private sector can offer employees a telecommuting program on a voluntary basis.
The arrangement should abide by the minimum labor standards. This means there should be compensable work hours, a minimum number of work hours, overtime, rest days, and entitlement to leaves.
Employers are also supposed to ensure fair treatment for the telecommuting employee. Like employees working from the traditional workplace of the employer, the telecommuting employee is also entitled to overtime and night shift differential, rest periods, regular holidays, special nonworking holidays, same equivalent workload and standards, same access to training, and career development opportunities, among others.
To test telecommuting, the Department of Labor and Employment is ordered to set up a telecommuting pilot program for select industries which should last not more than 3 years.
The new law is a consolidation of the work of the two chambers of Congress – Senate Bill No. 1363 in the Senate and House Bill No. 7402 in the House of Representatives. – Rappler.com