Work from Home signed into Law in the Philippines
Republic Act 11165 also known as ‘The Telecommuting Act’ was signed by President Duterte on December 20,2018. The Act institutionalized telecommuting as an alternative work arrangement for employees in private sectors.
The law states that telecommuting refers to a work arrangement that allows an employee in the private sector to work from an alternative work place with the use of telecommunication and/or computer technologies. The new law further states that private employers may offer such arrangement and should follow the minimum standard set by the law when it comes to compensation and benefits.
Under the ‘fair treatment’ law, the telecommuting employees should enjoy the same compensation and benefits as those of employees working in offices such as rate of pay, right to rest periods, regular and special holidays, same or equivalent workload, training and development activities and should not be barred from communicating to employee representatives.
With the current public transportation situation of the country, both employer and employee may avoid incurring losses from poor employee performance on attendance and schedule compliance. It may also possibly allow both parties to cut down on expenses. Telecommuting employees will also be adequately protected and treated.
On the larger picture, it can be a great move for the country to be competitive and show that the country is on a par with global standards. With a more flexible employee skill-set and time, more services may be provided to a bigger market. It may boost productivity as well as generate employment.
One thing about the Act is that it is basically voluntary among private employers. The law states that ““an employer in the private sector may offer a telecommuting program to its employees on a voluntary basis, and upon such terms and conditions as they mutually agree upon provided that such terms and conditions shall not be less than the minimum labor standards set by the law..” This means that employees can’t demand to use the alternative unless agreed upon by the employer.
And in case the company allows such alternative means, there is no guarantee that the result will be satisfactory given the kind and level of technology present in the country. Internet and data speed is worse on residential accounts than businesses.
Also, there will be little control from employers side on the employee’s performance particularly on attendance although it can be remedied by a comprehensible employer-employee agreement.
Nevertheless, the Act has been signed into law. It is nice to see that the country is trying to adapt to the current and global standards. Hopefully, the corporate world will comply and do their best to make use of such opportunities with the best of interests.
Let’s discuss with aimtalk teachers:
- What can you say about working-at-home arrangement? If given a chance, would you like to try it?
- Please compare work-at-home and office-base work arrangements. What do you think are the benefits and disadvantages of each?
- Cite industries that you think will benefit from or can make use of the telecommuting arrangement the best
telecommuting(n): working from home
institutionalize(v): make something a normal accepted part of a social system or organization
alternative(adj): something alternative can be used instead of what was supposed to be used.
compensation(n): money paid to someone for doing their job
pros(n): advantage (opp: cons)
incur(v): become subject to
on a par with: to be a the same level or standard
remedy(v): to deal with a problem
comply(v): do what you have to or asked to do (n):compliance