House approves security of tenure bill on 2nd reading
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives approved on second reading on Wednesday the bill seeking to strengthen the security of tenure of workers in the private sector.
Through voice voting, the lower chamber approved House Bill No. 7036 which seeks to amend the Labor Code of the Philippines.
The measure prohibits fixed-term employment except in the cases of overseas Filipino workers, workers on probation, relievers who are temporary replacements of absent regular employees whose engagements shall not exceed six months, project employees, and seasonal employees.
Nonetheless, the bill states that the rights and benefits of relievers, project and seasonal employees shall be at par with regular employees consistent with the principle that all workers must be treated alike both as to the rights enjoyed and obligations assumed.
Businesses engaging in end-of-contract arrangements and labor-contracting may face administrative penalties of a fine or even the possible closure of their businesses.
Under the bill, labor-only contracting happens when any of the following conditions are present:
The contractor does not have substantial capital or investment in the form of tools, equipment, machinery, work premises, among others;
The contractor has no control over the workers’ methods and means of accomplishing their work;
The contractor’s workers are performing activities which are directly related to the principal business of the employer.
In July 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte vetoed the Security of Tenure Bill, saying that while labor-only contracting must be prohibited, legitimate job-contracting should be allowed” provided that the contractor is “well capitalized, has sufficient investments, and affords its employees all the benefits.”
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