Last week, the House of Representatives approved a bill that seeks to provide employees with another option when it comes to the number of days they report to work each week.
House Bill 6152, otherwise known as “An Act Increasing the Normal Work Hours Per Day Under a Compressed Work Week Scheme” introduces a compressed work week policy that aims to maximize both efficiency and productivity in the work force.
If it gets approved by the President, the Labor Secretary will then issue the implementing rules and regulations within 90 days of its implementation. Meanwhile, here’s what you need to know in case the bill actually becomes a law:
What is its purpose?
Aside from being eyed as a potential solution to Metro Manila’s worsening traffic woes, House Bill 6152 co-author and Baguio City Rep. Mark Go says it can provide work-life balance for the whole labor industry.
“These arrangements give employers and employees flexibility in fixing hours of work compatible with business requirements and the employees’ need for a balanced work-life,” Go said.
When are the rest days?
Employees will be entitled to up to 3 rest days per week. Meanwhile, it will mainly be up to the employers to decide the weekly rest day schedules of their employees.
“In the case of a compressed work week scheme, a rest period of not less than 48 hours but not more than 72 hours, as the case may be, shall be provided to the employees.”
There will also be special considerations when it comes to religious beliefs and the like.
“However, the employer shall respect the preference of employees as to their weekly rest day when such preference is based on religious grounds.”
What are the working hours?
The Labor Code requires employees to render 40 to 48 hours a week. So under this law, employees who will only work for four days a week will have to put in 10-12 hours each day excluding breaks.
What about overtime pay?
Employees working under the compressed work week will remain eligible for overtime compensation based on standard overtime pay rules.
“Work may be performed beyond eight hours a day or 48 hours a week provided that the employee is paid for the overtime work, an additional compensation equivalent to the regular wage plus at least 25 percent thereof. Work performed beyond eight hours or number of hours under a compressed work week scheme on a holiday or rest day shall be paid an additional compensation equivalent to the rate of the first eight hours or number of hours under a compressed work week scheme on a holiday or rest day plus 30 percent thereof.”
Who are exempted?
Not everyone will be allowed to work under the compressed work week scheme. Those who are primarily in the health industry will be bound to at least five working days due to the vital public services they provide.
Health personnel shall include but are not limited to: resident physicians, nurses, nutritionists, dietitians, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, paramedical technicians, psychologists, midwives and all other hospital or clinic staff.
“Health personnel in cities and municipalities with a population of at least one million or in hospitals and clinics with a bed capacity of at least one hundred shall hold regular office hours for eight hours a day, for five days a week, exclusive of time for meals, except where the exigencies of the service require that such personnel work for six days or 48 hours, in which case, they shall be entitled to an additional compensation of at least 30 percent of their regular wage for work on the sixth day.”