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PIA Press Release
2009/02/05

To avoid unemployment surge, adopt alternatives to termination, employers told

by Rachelle M. Nessia

Dumaguete City (5 February) -- Employers in the province are urged to steer clear of job lay-offs and instead be innovative in adopting ways to cope with the financial crisis.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) here sounded the call to local employers to avoid the surge of unemployment in the province due to the economic crisis.

DOLE is urging employers to adopt flexible work schemes in the workplace as an alternative to termination, said Kenrick Villaluz of DOLE here.

DOLE has issued guidelines for companies that wish to adopt the said work arrangement as a remedial measure in the face of the global financial crisis.

Flexible work arrangements refer to alternative schedules other than the traditional or standard work hours, work days and work weeks.

The labor department, in its advisory outlining the guidelines for the adoption of the said scheme, sees the said arrangement as "a better alternative to outright termination of the services of the employees or the total closure of the establishment."

Under the guidelines, companies have a choice of six work schemes to adopt, namely Compressed Workweek, Reduction of Workdays, Rotation of Workers, Forced Leave, Broken-time Schedule and Flexi-holidays Schedule.

The Compressed Workweek refers to the reduction of the normal work week to less than six days but work hours per week still remain at 48 hours while the Reduction of Workdays arrangement refers to reduced workdays per week but should not last for more than six months.

Employees are rotated or alternately provided work within the workweek under the Rotation of Workers scheme while Forced Leave refers to employees being required to go on leave for several days or weeks utilizing their leave credits, if there are any.

Broken-time Schedule refers to one where the work schedule is not continuous but the work hours within the day or week remain while under the Flexi-holidays, employees agree to avail the holidays at some other days provided there is no diminution of existing benefits as a result of the arrangement.

Employers are required to notify DOLE before they adopt any of the said schemes.

Villaluz said DOLE here will raise before local employers the said work schemes available for them during the next Tripartite and Industrial Peace Council (TIPC) meeting here.

Labor Secretary Marianito Roque in a memorandum has instructed DOLE offices in the regions to closely monitor local companies implementing the flexible work schemes, particularly reduction of workdays.

The labor department has earlier reported that 19,000 workers in the country have lost their jobs as 120 companies shut down due to the global economic meltdown

According to Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, DOLE had initiated Tripartite conferences and consultations across the country to solve employment layoffs.

On the other hand, the National Anti-Poverty Commission is putting up livelihood and employment programs to mitigate the effect of the financial crisis. (PIA/rmn) [top]

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