The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled Filipino business process outsourcing (BPO) workers as they face two major issues during the lockdown period: the risk of being infected of the virus, and the possibility of not getting paid despite being a regular employee.
As essential workers, BPO employees are still allowed to go to work during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). However, employees who’ve had close contact with a COVID-19 positive employee were advised to isolate themselves, and will be under a no-work, no-pay arrangement.
Employees in isolation have complained about their companies having no concrete plans for them, except for sending them home. BPO Industry Employees Network (BIEN) Pilipinas President Mylene Cabalona said that BPO companies should provide displaced employees with additional paid leaves and some form of financial assistance, and called for the government to mandate this.
Cabalona added that BPO workers have contributed a lot to the Philippine economy in the last decade, and that it is only fair that both the government and BPO companies look after the welfare of BPO workers and support them during this pandemic.