Termination of Employment and Downsizing due to COVID-19
The effect of the spread of COVID-19 in trade and business is now being felt worldwide. Stock markets are down. Trade is low. Enterprises are operating at a loss. Companies are downsizing. People are losing their jobs. This is certainly not a pretty picture for the economy.
Philippine Labor Department’s Response
In light of these realities, the Philippine Department of Labor & Employment (“DOLE”) issued on 04 March 2020 Labor Advisory No. 09 or the “Guidelines on the Implementation of Flexible Work Arrangements as Remedial Measure Due to the Ongoing Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)”. In a nutshell, Advisory No. 09 is suggesting to employers to adopt remedial measures as alternative coping mechanisms instead of removing employees or closing businesses.
(UPDATED) Guidelines on the Implementation of Flexible Work Arrangements as Remedial Measure Due to the Ongoing Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019
The Advisory (as amended by Labor Advisory No. 17-2020) recommends the adoption of flexible work arrangements such as:
- Reduction of Workhours and/or Workdays where the normal workhours or workdays are reduced.
- Rotation of Workers whereby the employees are rotated or alternately provided work within the week.
- Forced Leave wherein employees are required to go on leave for several days or weeks utilizing their leave credits.
- Transfer of employees to another branch or outlet of the employer.
- Assignment of employees to other functions or position
- Partial Closure of some units or departments
- Other feasible work arrangements
- Adjustment of wages and wage-related benefits provided that the employer and employee agree voluntarily in writing (not to exceed 6 months)
Both employers and employees are encouraged to explore other alternative arrangements to cushion the effect of the loss of income to the employees.
Guidelines Optional to Employers and Businesses
Should the employer wish to adopt flexible work arrangements, it must post a copy of the Advisory in a conspicuous place in the premises. Furthermore, the employer must notify the Regional Office of DOLE (where the office is located) of the adoption of such arrangements through a Report Form.
It must be emphasized that the flexible work arrangements are temporary in nature and subject to the prevailing conditions of the company.This is how to properly adopt remedial measures to mitigate the losses caused by COVID-19 in the workplace.
About Nicolas and De Vega Law Offices
If you need assistance in labor-related issues, compliance with DOLE issuances, and company employment policies, we can help you. Nicolas and de Vega Law Offices is a full-service law firm in the Philippines. You may visit us at the 16th Flr., Suite 1607 AIC Burgundy Empire Tower, ADB Ave., Ortigas Center, 1605 Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. You may also call us at +632 84706126, +632 84706130, +632 84016392 or e-mail us at [email protected]. Visit our website www.ndvlaw.com.