House passes bill on compressed work week scheme

The House of Representatives has approved on second reading House Bill 6152, seeking to raise the normal work hours per day under a compressed work week schedule scheme which promotes competitiveness, efficiency, and productivity in the business and industry sectors.

To effect the increase in normal work hours per day under a compressed work week scheme, the bill seeks the amendment of Articles 83, 87 and 91 of Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines.

The amendment to Article 83 of PD 442 titled Normal hours of work provides that the normal hours of work of any employee shall not exceed eight hours a day except in cases where the enterprise adopts a compressed work week scheme, but shall not exceed 48 hours a week.

This is without prejudice to firms whose normal work week is five days, or a total of 40 hours based on the normal work day of eight hours, the bill provides.

The amendment also provides that employees shall be permitted to complete their working hours on a compressed work week scheme whereby the normal work week is reduced to less than six days but the total number of normal work hours per week shall remain at 48 hours.

Meanwhile, the amendment to Article 87 pf PD 442 titled Overtime work provides that work may be performed beyond eight hours a day or 48 hours a week provided that the employee is paid for the overtime work, an additional compensation equivalent to the regular wage plus at least 25 percent thereof.

Work performed beyond eight hours or number of hours under a compressed work week scheme on a holiday or rest day shall be paid an additional compensation equivalent to the rate of the first eight hours or number of hours under a compressed work week scheme on a holiday or rest day plus at least 30 percent thereof.

Lastly, the amendment to Article 91 of PD 442 titled Right to weekly rest day provides: a) It shall be the duty of every employer, whether operating for profit or not, to provide each of the employees a rest period of not less than 24 consecutive hours after every six consecutive normal work days.

In the case of a compressed work week scheme, a rest period of not less than 48 hours but not more than 72 hours, as the case may be, shall be provided to the employees.

b) The employer shall determine and schedule the weekly rest day of the employees subject to collective bargaining agreement and to such rules and regulations as the Secretary of Labor and Employment may provide.

However, the employer shall respect the preference of employees as to their weekly rest day when such preference is based on religious grounds.

The Secretary of Labor and Employment shall promulgate the necessary implementing rules and regulations within 90 days from the effectivity of the Act.

Rep. Mark Go (Lone District, Baguio City), principal author of the bill, said the amendment of Articles 83, 87 and 91 of the Labor Code, providing for the compressed work week scheme, would benefit both the employers and employees in response to the rapidly changing technological and economical landscapes.

Go said the concept of compressed work week scheme refers to alternative arrangements or schedules other than the traditional or standard work hours and work week. Through this method, the normal work week is reduced to less than six days, but the total number of normal work hours per week shall remain at 48 hours. This concept can be adjusted accordingly in cases where the normal work week of the company is five days, said Go.

The lawmaker said that at present, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has allowed some companies to go on compressed work week schemes. These arrangements give employers and employees flexibility in fixing hours of work compatible with business requirements and the employees' need for balanced work-life, said Go.

The proposed measure seeks to institutionalize the compressed work week scheme as it proves to promote competitiveness, efficiency, and productivity in business and industries, said Go, a vice chairman of the committees on basic education and foreign affairs.

Other authors of the bill are : Majority Leader Rodolfo FariAas (1st District, Ilocos Norte), Reps. Deogracias Victor Savellano (1st District, Ilocos Sur), Eleanor Bulut-Begtang (Lone District, Apayao), Ma. Lourdes Aggabao (4thDistrict, Isabela), Jesus Celeste (1st District, Pangasinan), Christiopher de Venecia (4th District, Pangasinan), Ronald Cosalan (Lone District, Benguet), Napoleon Dy (3rd District, Isabela), Leopoldo Bataoil (2nd District, Pangasinan), Strike Revilla (2nd District, Cavite), Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (6th District, Pangasinan) Luisa Lloren Cuaraesma (Lone District, Nueva Vizcaya), Micaela Violago (2nd District, Nueva Ecija), Randolph Ting (3rd District, Cagayan), Ariel Ka Ayik Casilao (Party-list, ANAKPAWIS), Teodoro Montoro (Party-list AASENSO), Leo Rafael Cuerva (2nd District, Negros Occidental), Edwin Ong (2nd District, Northern Samar), Vicente Veloso (3rd District, Leyte), Edcel lagman (1st District, Albay), Peter Unabia (1st District, Misamis Oriental), Yedda Marie Romualdez (1st District, Leyte), Vilma Santos-Recto (6th District, Batangas), and Juliet Cortuna (Part-list A-Teacher).

Source: House of Representatives

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