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PIA Press Release
2009/02/11

Companies must adopt "flexible work" rather than total closure

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (11 February) -- Only UFC Philippines has yet adopted in the whole Region XI a flexible work arrangement through a compressed work week to its 41 workers since February 4.

The Department of Labor and Employment released the guidelines on the adoption of flexible work arrangement as an alternative move of companies in facing the global financial downturn.

DOLE XI stressed that this is a better alternative than the outright termination of the services of employees or the total closure of the establishment.

However, one condition of such is that it must be anchored on voluntary basis and conditions must be mutually acceptable to both the employer and employees.

DOLE defined flexible work arrangements as alternative schedules other than the traditional or standard work hours, work days and work week.

There are various forms of flexible work arrangements. One form is the compressed workweek which reduces the normal workweek to less than six days but the total number of work hours of 48 hours per week will still be followed

This means that the normal workday is increase to more than eight hours but nor more than 12 hours, without corresponding overtime premium.

The company may also adopt the Reduction of Workdays or the reduction of normal workdays per week but should not last for more than six months.

Rotation of workers may also be applied or the Forced Leave mechanism requiring employees to go on leave for several days or weeks.

Another option is the Broken-time schedule which refers to one where the work schedule is not continuous but the work hours within the day or week remain.

DOLE also suggests Flexi-holidays schedules in which the employee agree to avail the holidays at some other days provided there is no diminution of existing benefits as a result of such arrangement.

However, the department requires companies to first notify DOLE through the regional office prior to its implementation. (PIA XI) [top]

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