SC implements 4-day workweek starting Dec 1

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    THE Supreme Court will start implementing next week a four-day workweek as Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta moves to ensure the well-being of court officials and employees.

    With the country still under a state of public health emergency due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Peralta said SC employees only need to report 10 hours a day from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for four days, which will be equivalent to the 40-hour work load per week required by the Labor Code.

    Peralta said the justices will decide the operation schedule of their respective offices.

    In an administrative order, Peralta said all other offices and services of the Supreme Court “shall be physically open and shall operate with not less than 80 percent from Monday to Friday.”

    Employees in court offices will be divided into five groups, with each group to be assigned a weekday’s off from work.

    “The office shall continue to operate and be open five days a week with not less than 80 percent attendance,” the order said.

    The rendition of overtime services shall be suspended in the different offices and services of the SC, except in the office of the Chief Justice and Associate Justices.

    “Flexible time schedules shall likewise be suspended in the meantime,” Peralta added.

    Peralta also directed the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals and the lower courts to prepare their separate guidelines for implementation and to submit it to his office within 10 days from receipt of the copy of the circular for approval.

    Peralta had earlier ordered the physical closure of all courts in the country after President Duterte placed numerous provinces under strict lockdowns to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The SC allowed courts to continue to conduct hearings electronically or through videoconferencing. It also allowed the filing of information or cases electronically.