DOLE: No objections so far against paid quarantine leave for workers

Spread the love

MANILA – An official of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Thursday that employers in the private sector have so far been cooperative with the advisory urging them to provide paid isolation and quarantine leave benefits to workers infected with coronavirus.

“We have not heard any objections from employers, small or big (establishments),” Undersecretary Benjo Benavidez said in a Laging Handa briefing, referring to Labor Advisory No. 1 released on January 17.

However, Benavidez clarified that the grant of such leave benefits is optional.

“Granting quarantine leave is not mandatory. We only encourage the businessmen to, if possible, provide additional leave benefit for quarantine or isolation,” he said.

Before the advisory was issued, some companies are already providing additional leave benefits to their employees, according to Benavidez.

“The day after (the advisory was issued) there were callers seeking clarification. In fact, before issuing an advisory, there are companies that provide additional leaves just for the workers to continue to receive wages while in isolation or quarantine,” he said.

He did, however, add that employees may seek assistance from the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) if their employers are unable to provide additional leave benefits.

“The ECC provides cash assistance, medical reimbursement, and sickness benefits. This is for all employees who contracted Covid-19 at work or because of work. Covid-19 is an occupational disease,” he said.

Meanwhile, Benavidez said the ECC’s proposal to increase the cash aid from PHP10,000 to PHP30,000 for workers who will contract Covid-19 is still awaiting approval from the Office of the President.

For the time being, he stated that employees may apply for EC benefit with the Social Security System (SSS) for private-sector workers and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for government employees.

House committees to hold hearings during break

Spread the love

Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.