A measure institutionalizing telecommuting as an alternative work scheme has been signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte. The president signed Republic Act 11165, also known as the Act Institutionalizing Telecommuting, which allows an employee in the private sector to work from home or from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunications. The law aims to address traffic congestion and to promote work-life balance and flexible work arrangements. The adoption of such scheme, however, still remains a prerogative of employers. Senator Joel Villanueva, principal author of the law, said the law has enough safeguards to ensure that the rights of home-based workers are protected by giving them equal pay, leave benefits, and promotion. The law’s guidelines will be crafted by the labor department to ensure the fair treatment of telecommuting employees. Also, the act has provisions on data protection and on a telecommuting pilot programs of up to three years in select industries.
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