British Chamber of Commerce to companies: Adopt work-from-home schemes

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 18) — The British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (BCCP) urged the labor sector on Tuesday to institutionalize a work-from-home scheme that could benefit both employers and employees.

"We all believe this will increase productivity, partly an answer to the problems of traffic and infrastructure, people spend so much time commuting and therefore there is a tremendous loss in productivity," BCCP Executive Chairman Chris Nelson said in a labor briefing in Makati.

The British Chamber of Commerce, along with the American Chamber of Commerce, expressed its support for a telecommuting bill filed at the Senate in March.

"The industry is growing and an indication that people are organizing themselves," Nelson added.

Senator Joel Villanueva filed Senate Bill 1363 or the Telecommuting Act of 2017, an act institutionalizing work-from-home schemes to help relieve employees from the troubles caused by Metro Manila's traffic congestion.

Villanueva, who is chairman of Senate Committee on Labor, said that telecommuting promotes work-life balance, reduces transportation expenses, increases productivity and sustains employee motivation.

The bill is already approved on second reading at the Senate.

It ensures that employees who will opt to work from home should be treated similarly as those who work in their company's premises.

But the adoption of a telecommuting program in a company is not mandatory.

The Labor Department also said mechanisms should be set in place to avoid violations of the Labor Code.

Dr. Teresita Cucueco of the department's Bureau of Working Conditions said, "For companies to even start this, they have to pilot it so that they can look at certain loopholes and be able to address this."