Bill on flexible working hours moves forward in Senate
MANILA, Philippines – A bill proposing flexible working hours for employees has been approved by the Senate on second reading.
Senate Bill No. 1571 or the Alternative Working Arrangement bill, which was approved on second reading on Monday, aims to give employers and employees an option to adopt flexible working arrangements.
The bill seeks to amend Article 83 of the Labor Code, which limits the normal working hours to eight hours a day for five days.
Under the measure, alternative working hours would not exceed 48 hours per week with no reduction of existing benefits.
Senator Joel Villanueva, author and sponsor of the bill, said the measure was an “answer to the changes in the labor market and in the nature of employment.”
“Today, work need not be confined in a certain place or office. Work need not happen at the same time. Work can be done remotely,” Villanueva said in a statement.
The senator pointed out the alternative working arrangement or flexible working was a “necessity” and that Filipino workers should have this statutory right.
He shared that there are companies which are already implementing non-traditional working arrangements like flexitime, four-day work week, compressed work week, work from home, shift flexibility, to give workers more independence and control over their work.
Villanueva believes that workers with more independence and control over their work are more productive and deliver better results.
“Gusto kong bigyang diin na hindi natin gagawing compulsary ang mga alternative working arrangement, katulad din po ng Telecommuting Act, optional o voluntary ito at depende sa pangangailangan o exigency ng business operation,” he said.
The senator also noted that the bill provides benefits not only to employees but also employers, which include less expense on recruitment and training and huge savings resulting from the reduction of traffic and congestion. /cbb