Working conditions, rest periods, and holidays
Twenty-four-year-old Janine is lucky because she is still employed. Some of her friends had been laid off from their jobs since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The lost income meant they moved back to their provinces. She considers herself lucky to be able to work, but risks her health using public transport in going to her workplace every day.
During these times where there have been changes in the implementation of working conditions, Janine wanted to know if the Department of Labor and Employment still monitors working hours, overtime, and other mandatory worker’s rights. The answer is yes, workers statutory benefits shall apply to employees in all establishments and undertakings whether for profit or not.
Under the provisions of Article 82 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, working hours apply to employees in all establishments and undertakings whether for profit or not, excluding government employees, managerial employees, field personnel, family members of the employer who depend on him for support, domestic helpers, persons who provide personal service to other people, and workers who are paid by results as determined by the DOLE secretary in appropriate regulations.
A work day refers to any day during which an employee is regularly required to work. Hours of work refer to all the time an employee renders actual work, or is required to be on duty or to be at a prescribed workplace. The normal hours of work in a day is eight hours. This includes breaks or rest period of less than one hour, but excludes meal period, which shall not be less than one hour.
An employee like Janine must be paid her wages for all hours worked. If all or any part of her regular work hours falls between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., she is entitled to a night shift pay in addition to her pay for regular work hours. If she works for more than eight hours in one day, then she shall be entitled to overtime pay, which consists of an additional compensation equivalent to her regular wage plus at least 25 percent, and if Janine performs work beyond eight hours on a holiday or rest day, she will be paid an additional compensation equivalent to the rate of the first eight hours plus at least 30 percent thereof.
She is also entitled a day-off of 24 consecutive hours after six days of work to be scheduled by her employer upon consultation with her and the other workers.
On inquiries regarding undertime to be an offset by overtime, Article 88 of the Labor Code enunciates that undertime work on a business day shall not be offset by overtime work on any other day. The law discourages the offset because the hourly rate of overtime is higher than the hours missed when an employee works for less than eight hours.
In cases where the employer requires an employee for an emergency overtime work, Article 89 of the Labor Code clarifies any employee may be required by the employer to perform overtime work in any of the following cases: when it is necessary to prevent loss of life or property or in case of imminent danger to public safety due to an actual or impending emergency in the locality caused by serious accidents, fire, flood, typhoon, earthquake, epidemic, or other disaster or calamity; when there is urgent work to be performed on machines, installations, or equipment, in order to avoid serious loss or damage to the employer or some other cause of similar nature; when the work is necessary to prevent loss or damage to perishable goods; and where the completion or continuation of the work started before the eighth hour is necessary to prevent serious obstruction or prejudice to the business or operations of the employer.
Any employee required to render overtime work under this Article 89 shall be paid the additional compensation.
There will be holidays in November and December so employers and employees should know that work performed on any special holiday shall be paid an additional compensation of at least 30 percent of the employee’s regular wage. When such holiday work falls on an employee’s scheduled rest day, they shall be entitled to an additional compensation of at least 50 percent of their regular wage. When the collective bargaining agreement or other applicable employment contract stipulates the payment of a higher premium pay than prescribed by the Labor Code, the employer shall pay such higher rate.
Every worker shall be paid his regular daily wage during regular holidays, except in retail and service establishments regularly employing less than 10 workers.