The Philippine Senate has approved the bicameral conference committee report on a bill seeking to allow private employees to opt for a ‘work from home’ policy. The report states that telecommuting, a flexible working arrangement where the employee may work in an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunications or computer technologies, will remain an employers’ prerogative. Although telecommuting is non-compulsory, Sen. Joel Villanueva, chair of the Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources development, said it should not be less than the minimum labor standards set by law. Under the bill, the telecommuting program includes compensable work hours, minimum number of work hours, overtime, rest days, and entitlement to leave benefits. The bicameral report also provides for the establishment of a telecommuting pilot program in select industries for a period of not more than three years to enable DOLE to determine the pros and cons of the program.
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