Higher graveyard shift pay for BPO workers sought

Posted at 06/30/14 12:53 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A bill has been filed in the House of Representatives seeking higher graveyard shift pay for business process outsourcing (BPO) employees.

Under House Bill 4414, graveyard shift pay is proposed to be increased from 10 percent to 25 percent of the basic salary of BPO workers working from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The bill’s author, Maguindanao 2nd Distrtic Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu, said BPO employees should be properly compensated for the risks they are exposed to during the graveyard shift.

"BPO employees are often exposed to stress because they take calls of agitated or angry customers. They likewise make calls to customers of their companies for purposes of addressing concerns, making sales or other matters that require a lot of activity, resulting in undue stress. In addition, most BPOs operate during the night and this adds to the employees' exposure to health hazard," he said.

Mangudadatu said he believes that BPO firms can afford the additional graveyard shift pay for their employees, noting that the proposed increase is “just a small price to pay.”

"It should be highlighted that BPOs are owned and operated by foreigners and are in Philippine Economic Zone Authority-accredited locations. This proposed increase is just a small price to pay for owners and operators of BPOs, some of whom enjoy tax benefits for being located in PEZA-accredited locations," he said.

The bill also proposes that the additional pay shall be applied in the entire BPO industry, including those that are located in information technology centers or accredited by PEZA.

If approved, violators will be subject to a 30-day suspension of business permit and a fine of P250,000.