DOLE OKs shorter work week for 2 firms

Posted at 02/04/14 3:45 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has approved requests of two companies for a compressed work week to allow employees to save on transportation costs and spend more time with their families.

DOLE approved on January 10 the request of IT company AEB, Inc. to cut its work week to five days, from Monday to Friday.

Its 41 employees logged in working hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Saturday prior to the adjustment.

Starting February 1, the employees were required to report from Monday to Friday, but working hours are increased by 1 and a half hours, or 47.5 hours per week, without the corresponding overtime premium.

Publishing firm Visprint, Inc. was also given the go signal by DOLE to implement a similar scheme starting January 2.

"We are doing a compressed work week to cut cost in utility consumption, but more importantly, to provide our employees with additional rest day and more time to spend with their families," said Visprint, Inc. president Nida Ramirez.

Visprint publishes the books of Filipino author Bob Ong.

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, meanwhile, said the arrangement is in line with DOLE Advisory No. 4, Series of 2010, or the "Guidelines on the Implementation of Flexible Work Arrangements and the Exemption from the Nightwork Prohibition for Women Employees in the Business Process Outsourcing Industry."

"The concept of flexible work arrangement refer to alternative arrangements or schedules other than the traditional or standard work hours, work days, and work week," said Baldoz.

Under the DOLE Advisory, the following are the three flexible arrangements that companies and their employees may consider:

(1) Compressed work week, where the normal work week is reduced to less than six (6) days, but the total number of work hours of 48 hours per week shall remain. In this arrangement, the normal work day is extended to more than eight (8) hours, but should not exceed 12 hours, without corresponding overtime premium.

(2) Gliding, or flexi-time schedule, where the employees are required to complete the core work hours, but are free to determine their arrival and departure time.

(3) Flexi-holidays schedule, where the employees agree to avail the holidays at some other days, provided there is no diminution of existing benefits as a result of such arrangement.

Baldoz noted that the flexible work arrangements are designed to improve business competitiveness and productivity.

"These arrangements can give employers and employees flexibility in fixing hours of work compatible with business requirements and the employees' need for balanced work-life," she said.