Voting 17-0, the Senate approved on third and final reading Monday a bill seeking to provide employees with alternative working arrangements, including a four-day work week and flexitime.
Senate Bill No. 1571 amends Article 83 of the Labor Code by making an exception to the normal eight hours of work a day when the exigency of business operations requires the adoption of a mutually agreed voluntary work arrangement between the employer and the employee.
Under the proposal, alternative working hours shall not exceed 48 hours a week and there is no reduction of existing benefits such as overtime pay and night shift differential.
Senator Joel Villanueva, in his speech, thanked his colleagues for passing the bill, saying that it gives employers and employees the option to adopt flexible working arrangements.
“Mr. President, esteemed colleagues, thank you for passing this measure which has the potential to promote work-life balance, improve worker efficiency and reduce transportation costs on the part of our workers and operating costs on the part of employers,” he said.
“Bibigyang diin ko lang po ang nakasaad sa Senate Bill 1571: ang alternative working arrangement ay boluntaryo, 48 hours per week pa rin ang trabaho, at hindi mababawasan ang mga kasalukuyang benepisyong tinatanggap ng ating mga manggagawa gayundin ang karapatan nila sa overtime pay, night shift differential at iba pa,” he added.
He said an alternative working arrangement or flexible working is a necessity and that every Filipino worker deserves to have this statutory right.
He added that there are companies which are already implementing non-traditional working arrangements like flexitime, four-day workweek, compressed workweek, working from home, shift flexibility, among others, to give their workers more independence and control over their work.
The House of Representatives approved its version of the bill in 2017. — BM, GMA News