Work-from-home scheme to be offered voluntarily or through collective bargaining – DOLE

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 15) — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) signed the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Republic Act 11165 or the Telecommunicating Act, which allows private sector employees to work in alternative workplaces.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello signed the IRR recently, according to an April 11 statement. Under the rules, a management prerogative or collective bargaining option can be used to implement the work scheme.

"The work arrangement must not be less than the minimum labor standards set by law, and shall include compensable work hours, a minimum number of work hours, overtime, rest days, entitlement to leave benefits, social welfare benefits, and security of tenure," Bello was quoted saying.

To effectively implement the telecommuting program, DOLE said the employer and employees shall adhere to and be guided by the mutually agreed policy or telecommuting agreement.

The policy includes the applicable code of conduct and performance evaluation and assessment; appropriate alternative workplace; use and cost of equipment; observance of data privacy; and occupational safety and health, among others.

Companies who will adopt the telecommuting work arrangement must notify DOLE's nearest field or provincial office.

The rules will take effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation and posting in the DOLE website.