House OKs 35-hour work week proposal on 2nd reading
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading a bill seeking to reduce the weekly work schedule for employees in the private sector.
Voting via voce, the House approved House Bill No. 309 which seeks to allow employees in the private sector to work for 35 hours a week maximum as an alternative work arrangement.
In the explanatory note of the bill, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda noted that “both employers and employees who have participated in shorter weekly work hour schemes cited other less obvious but just as important gains.”
“Flexibility in workplaces accommodated the special needs of families, mothers, and older workers. Shorter worker hours saved on utility bills, and resulted in fewer cars on the road during rush hours,” Salceda said.
Under the bill, employers may implement a 35-hour workweek scheme, provided that terms and conditions agreed upon are not less than the minimum labor standards set by law.
The employer shall ensure that employees working for 35 hours a week shall:
-receive rate of pay, including overtime, night shift differential, and other similar benefits
-have the right to rest periods
-be provided by the employer with written information on the terms and conditions of the 35-hour working week scheme and the responsibilities of the employees
In cases of conflict between employers and employees on the said alternative working arrangement, the bill states that differences should be resolved under the grievance mechanism of the company.
However, for those without grievance machinery or whose mechanisms are inadequate, the grievance shall be referred to the Department of Labor and Employment.
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