Labor department: Additional pay for work during ‘habagat’

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Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Workers who reported for duty despite the suspension of work in areas hit by heavy rains and massive flooding on Tuesday will get additional pay, according to the Department of Labor and Employment.

Labor Advisory No. 1, issued on Wednesday by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, said an employee who worked on August 7 “shall be paid an additional 30 percent of the daily rate of 100 percent on the first eight hours of work.”

Work in excess of eight hours will entitle the employee to an additional 30 percent of the hourly rate.

For those implementing compressed workweek arrangements, the employee shall be paid an additional 30 percent for the agreed work hours on the same day, Baldoz said.

The labor secretary said employers may provide the extra incentive or benefit to employees who reported for work “to alleviate the plight of workers in times of crisis.”

If the employee did not report for work, the labor secretary said the “no work, no pay” principle will apply, except when there is a company policy or collective bargaining agreement granting payment of wages and when the employee has leave credits against which his or her absence shall be charged.

The labor department’s pay rules stemmed from Malacañang’s Memorandum Circular No. 33 that suspended work in government and private offices in Metro Manila and nine provinces due to bad weather.

Flexible work hours

A labor group urged employers in Metro Manila and calamity-stricken provinces to temporarily implement flexible work hours to enable workers to cope with the massive displacements caused by the flooding.

“We are calling on the government and private employers to impose ‘flexi-time and flexi-work’ arrangements for their affected employees to allow working parents to attend to their urgent family needs and cope with this emergency situation,” said Gerard Seno, Associated Labor Unions-TUCP national executive vice president.

With new technology, particularly SMS and Internet service, adjusting the work schedule is ideal during emergencies or calamities, Seno said.

A migrant labor rights group called on President Benigno Aquino to reimplement the general financial assistance program  of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to help families of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by torrential rains over the past days.

“Based on our monitoring, there are at least 200,000 OFW families in Metro Manila that were forced to leave their houses due to floods and are now temporarily staying in various evacuation centers,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.

Monterona said a significant number of OFWs in the Middle East had sought assistance from the group after their kin in Metro Manila and nearby provinces such as Bulacan, Laguna and Pampanga  informed them of their dire situation.

“The affected OFW families urgently need our assistance. Though individual OFWs and OFW groups already conveyed their donation pledges, it will take time to reach us especially donated foods and clothes. Thus, we urge them to donate in cash,” he said.

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