IN a classic case of practicing what you preach, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will start implementing a four-day work week amid the threat of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has issued Administrative Order No. 99-2020 ordering all offices, services, bureaus, regional offices, and attached agencies under it to implement a four-day work week starting March 16.
“All offices/agencies shall observe a four-day work week, which shall be from Monday to Thursday, instead of working for five days a week, and work schedule from 7 am to 7 pm,” Bello said.
Under the four-day work week scheme, Fridays shall be the day-off of all employees.
The order also provides that employees must render not less than 10 hours of work a day, exclusive of meal periods, and that they may report for work anytime from 7 am to 8 am and may end work anytime between 6 pm and 7 pm after completing the 10-hour workday.
It also stated that employees who report for work beyond 8 am shall be considered tardy, while those who do not complete 10 hours in one work day shall be considered to have gone under-time.
The AO states that the official lunch break shall still be from 12 noon to 1 pm, regardless of the time the employee reports for work.
It likewise said that one day of absence shall be considered as a 10-hour absence and shall be deducted proportionately from the employee’s leave credits.
The order also said employees who will be required to report for work on their scheduled day-off shall be entitled to 1.5 days compensatory time-off.
The DOLE said the directive is pursuant to the declaration of a state of public health emergency throughout the Philippines in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
It is also in accordance with the Memorandum of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) urging all government agencies to implement either or both a four-day work week and a shifting work schedule due to the threat of the virus.
Last week, the DOLE called on private establishments to consider adopting alternative work arrangements for their employees, saying it is better than the outright termination of employees or total closure of the companies adversely affected by the outbreak.