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DoLE to require prior review of companies’ telecommuting plans

dole to require prior review of companies telecommuting plans - DoLE to require prior review of companies’ telecommuting plans
DoLE 071318 - DoLE to require prior review of companies’ telecommuting plans

EMPLOYERS will be required to submit their telecommuting work arrangements to the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) pending the issuance of guidelines regarding flexible working schemes.

In Department Order 202-19 or the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11165 or “An Act Institutionalizing Telecommuting as an Alternative Work Arrangement for Employees in the Private Sector,” DoLE claimed the authority to monitor flexible working arrangements to be issued by companies.

Employers will be required to notify DoLE before implementing their telecommuting schemes.

“The employer shall notify the DoLE on the adoption of a telecommuting work arrangement, by accomplishing the DoLE-prescribed report form and submitting the same in print or digital copy, to the nearest DoLE Field or Provincial office having jurisdiction over the area where the principal office is located,” according to the resolution, signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III on March 26.

If the establishment has branches or operational units outside its main offices, it is also required to submit a report to the nearest DoLE Field or Provincial Office in which the branch or operational unit is located.

The telecommuting law was signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Dec. 20, 2018. The law defines telecommuting as “a work arrangement that allows an employee in the private sector to work from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunication and/or computer technologies.”

Also stated in the IRR is that telecommuting arrangements can be offered by the employer on a voluntary basis or through collective bargaining agreement (CBA). DoLE added that terms and conditions “shall not be less than the minimum labor standards set by law, and shall include compensable work hours, minimum number of work hours, overtime, rest days, entitlement to leave benefits, social welfare benefits, and security of tenure.”

Employers are also supposed to treat their telecommuting employees equally with in other employees working on company premises.

The IRR also requires employers and workers to agree on standards to make such schemes compliant with the Data Privacy Act of 2012. Employers are tasked to ensure that data used by the telecommuting worker for professional purposes is protected.

“The employee shall commit to the company’s data privacy policy and ensure that confidential and proprietary information are protected at all times and utilized only in accordance with the requirements of the employer,” the IRR said. — Gillian M. Cortez

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