DOLE Bicol to employers: Protect jobs

LEGAZPI CITY— With the huge impact of community quarantine to labor sector, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Bicol urges employers to protect jobs and prevent retrenchments by adapting the alternative work schemes.

Joel M. Gonzales, DOLE Bicol regional director, encouraged businesses and enterprises to maintain their operations as the country slowly transitions into “new normal” amidst the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Employers can still implement or adapt the “work-from-home” or telecommuting arrangements provided they give adequate support to their employees so they can perform their assigned tasks of job,” he said.

He added that other alternative work schemes include the reduction of workdays or workhours as well as job rotations of employees within the workweek or within the month.

Gonzales affirmed that business establishments can also adapt other feasible work arrangement considering the specific peculiarities of different business requirements.

Meanwhile, he asserted that the affected workers can seek assistance from DOLE Bicol through its livelihood programs or “Tulong Panghanapbuhay”.

“Those workers with reduced working days can actually form their group and avail our livelihood program. Let’s say they work for only three days in one week based on their working arrangement, they can still use the remaining days for their other means of livelihood,” Gonzales explained.

He added that generating livelihood projects can help in stimulating the market thereby supporting the recovery of the country’s economy.

“We will provide starter kits to them based on their intended livelihood. We will also guide them to ensure that their livelihood will become sustainable,” he said.

On the other hand, Gonzales also emphasized that the employers and employees may agree voluntarily and in writing to temporarily adjust the employees’ wage and wage-related benefits as provided under their employment contract, company policy or collective bargaining agreement. (PIA5/CEB)