DOLE to private firms: Settle deferred holiday pays

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    WITH the economy slowly recovering, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is now requiring private firms to settle the deferred holiday pays of their employees, giving them until year end to comply.

    “This advisory shall apply to all employers in the private sector, which deferred the payment of holiday pay on account of the existence of a national emergency arising from the COVID-19 situation,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a DOLE advisory dated November 25.

    “Covered employers shall pay the qualified employees the deferred holiday pay on or before 31 December 2020,” he added.

    Deferred were the holiday pays for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Labor Day, Eid’l Fitr, Independence Day, Eid’l Adha, Ninoy Aquino Day, National Heroes Day, All Saints Day, All Souls Day, and Bonifacio Day.

    Meanwhile, all returning healthcare workers can now work abroad anew as they are not covered by the 5,000 limit set by the Philippine government, according to Bello.

    Bello said the 5,000 deployment cap for HCWs only covers newly-hired individuals.

    Last Saturday, Bello said President Duterte has approved the recommendation of the IATF-EID to lift the deployment ban on nurses and other healthcare workers.