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Flexible working hours bill gets final Senate approval

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 06:03 PM May 20, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate has unanimously approved on third and final reading a flexible working hours bill.

On Monday, 17 senators voted to approve Senate Bill No. 1571 known as “The Alternative Working  Arrangement” bill filed by Senator Joel Villanueva, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor.

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In his  manifestation submitted on the floor, Villanueva stressed that the  alternative working arrangement  is “voluntary” and would still require  employees to render  48 hours  work  per week.

“Bibigyang diin ko lang po ang nakasaad sa Senate Bill 1571: Ang alternative working arrangement ay boluntaryo, 48 hours per week pa rin ang trabaho, at hindi mababawasan ang mga kasalukuyang benepisyong tinatanggap ng ating mga manggagawa gayundin ang karapatan nila sa overtime pay, night shift differential at iba pa,”   he said.

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Villanueva said the measure would not only  promote work-life balance, but would also improve worker efficiency.

It would also reduce the workers’ transportation costs and the employers’ operating costs, he added.

Under his proposal, employers and employees  may agree to adopt flexible   working  arrangements, including a four-day workweek.

“One way to adopt a flexible work arrangement is to provide an option for compressed  work,”     Villanueva said in his explanatory note in the bill.

Under the standard  work week,   an employee is  required to render eight hours of  work for five days.

“In a compressed work week arrangement, the employee may opt to  reduce the number of days  dedicated to work, provided that the worker maintains  the  minimum of hours  required,” he pointed out.

To safeguard the rights, health and well-being of employees,  the  bill though limits  the work duration  to 48 hours  per week.

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READ: Bill on flexible working hours moves forward in Senate

The Senate approval of the bill came two years after the House of Representatives  passed a similar measure.

Once passed by the two chambers, they will  meet in a bicameral conference committee and approve a reconciled version.

The approved version in the bicameral level will then be sent back to both chambers for ratification before the measure is transmitted to the President for signature.  (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)

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TAGS: flexible working hours, Joel Villanueva, Senate, Senate Bill 1571
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