Workers may avail of DOLE’s work options

TO CUSHION IMPACT OF COVID-19

EMPLOYERS and workers affected by the adverse impact of COVID-19 may adopt various measures or avail of assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and other government agencies to cushion the adverse impacts of the pandemic on local economy.

DOLE Region 1 Director Nathaniel Lacambra said all DOLE-Regional Field Offices are coordinating with Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) for the dissemination of the information to guide employers and workers about available interventions.

Lacambra said pursuant to Labor Advisory No. 9 issued by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on March 4, companies may adopt flexible work arrangements (FWAs) as an alternative to worker termination.

The advisory proposes the following: (1) Reduction of work hours and/or workdays, where the normal work hours or workdays per week are reduced; (2) Rotation of workers where employees are rotated or alternately provided work within the week; and (3) Forced Leave where the employees are required to go on leave for several days or weeks utilizing their leave credits, if any.

Non-regular workers or those on a “no work, no pay” basis who will be temporarily suspended may avail of emergency employment assistance from the DOLE.

“The DOLE EEP (Emergency Employment Program) can cushion the impact on our workers from loss of income during their unemployment. They may be engaged for 10 to 30 days and receive the prevailing daily minimum wage rate,” he said.

He added that they may also apply for unemployment benefit equivalent to 50 percent of their average monthly salary credit for a maximum of two months provided Social Security Act of 2018.

“The benefit is in the form of monthly cash payments, and not a loan, which means that there are no interests rates,” the Regional Director said.

In addition, members who wish to get the benefit should have paid at least 36 monthly contributions – 12 months of which should be part of the 18-month period immediately preceding the month of involuntary separation.

In addition, workers under community quarantine may use their existing leave credits, if any, or remaining unpaid leaves of workers during the said period may be covered by DOLE subject to conditions under the proposed DOLE COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program, he said.

Workers temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 may go to their PESO or nearest DOLE-FO to avail of the EEP and other appropriate assistance. (With PhilStar Wire Service/ECV)

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