Philippines strengthens protections for remote workers

PHILIPPINES: The Department of Labour and Employment (DoLE) in the Philippines has amended the Telecommuting Law (signed in 2018) to account for higher numbers of work-from-home (WFH) arrangements post-pandemic.

Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma signed the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) on September 16 to strengthen protections for WFH workers.

The amendment says that workers shall receive no less than minimum labour standards, should they decide to not work in the office.

The new amendment also states that WFH arrangements shall not impact applicable terms and conditions in policy, practice, individual contract or collective bargaining agreement.

As long as an employee is required to be on duty or working in the alternative workplace (be it coerced or willingly), the hours worked must be counted as hours worked, the amendment said.

The new rule also indicates that employees in a WFH arrangement are not considered as field personnel (such as an hourly freelancer), unless their hours of work cannot be determined with reasonable certainty.

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