Duterte signs ‘work from home’ bill

MANILA — President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed a law institutionalizing the rights of employees in the private sector who work from their homes.

Under the Telecommuting Act, employers are required to give online workers the same rights, protection, and compensation as their counterparts who physically go to the office.

“It is hereby declared the policy of the State to affirm labor as a primary social economic force. To this end, it shall protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare, especially in the light of technological development that has opened up new and alternative avenues for employees to carry out their work, such as telecommuting and other flexible work arrangements,” the law reads.

Some of the benefits online workers are expected to receive under the new law are overtime pay, rest days, training opportunities, and collective rights.

The law gives the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) the task to “establish and maintain a telecommuting pilot program in select industries.”

The new law also mandates Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, in coordination with the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council, to craft the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the measure.

Bello earlier voiced out his support for the law’s passage as he underscored the digital technology’s influence on the shift from the traditional and onsite locations to remote work sites. Earl Jed Roque/PNA-northboundasia.com