Work from home
scheme maybe good to employees but endangers workers’ rights to
organize and bargain
Associated Labor Unions
June 21, 2018
QUEZON CITY – The
work from home flexible work arrangement may have good benefits to
some employees but workers’ group Associated Labor Unions-Trade
Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) expressed concern that
it also threatens to deprive workers’ rights to organize and
collective bargain for better wages and benefits.
Without diminution of
wages and benefits, House Bill 7402 or Telecommuting Act otherwise
known as the work from home proposal is attracting many young
workers in urbanized cities and municipalities to adopt the
arrangement due to the availability of the internet and the hazards
caused by traffic congestion and inadequate mass transport
It has passed the third
reading in the House of Representatives two weeks ago and now
pending in the Senate for its counterpart measure.
“While the flexible work
scheme may save urban workers from an average 2 to 4 hours daily
agony and disease-causing stress caused by commuting through traffic
jams and poor mass transport system, cut fuel, transport and parking
expenses and improve work-life balance, the arrangement may also
deprive workers of their right to organize themselves as a union and
to collective bargain for better wages and benefits,” said Gerard
Seno, executive vice president of workers’ group Associated Labor
“It is very important,
therefore, for its tripartite-drafted implementing rules and
regulation (IRR) to be crafted by the Department of Labor and
Employment that guides employees and employers in the application of
the scheme at the same time to promote the right to organize and to
collectively bargain,” Seno said.
Workers’ social protection
insurance and exposure to occupational safety and health hazard
caused overwork and fatigue must also be addressed effectively in
the preparation of the IRR, Seno stressed.
Those affected by the
measure would be those enterprise-based workers who wanted to
perform tasks off-site and those independent or freelance
contractors who wanted to work at home.
Workers may also minimize
exposure to pollution during commute and hazards caused by floods
and typhoons while employers and business owners would be able to
reduce overhead and production costs.
opportunities for mothers, differently-abled and
persons-with-disability are other positive benefits once the working
at home bill is approved into law.
ALU spokesperson Alan
Tanjusay, for his part, said the off-site arrangement is not
applicable to some industries particularly those jobs that require
operating machines, rendering frontline services and doing
However, work from home is
applicable to IT, business process management, business process
outsourcing, animation, journalist, writers, transcriber, social
media management, data entry, customer service, project management,
and web designer and developer, Tanjusay said.