Employees in the private sector can now have an option of working in an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunication or computer technologies following the release by the Labor department of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the ‘Telecommuting Act.’
Signed recently by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the IRR of Republic Act 11165, or the Telecommuting Act, shall take effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation and posting in the DOLE website.
Based on the IRR, an employer in the private sector may offer a telecommuting program to its employees on a voluntary basis or as a result of collective bargaining.
The new work scheme will be a management prerogative or collective bargaining option, as well as based on the voluntariness and mutual consent of the employer and employee, taking into account the nature of the work to be done.
“The work arrangement must not be less than the minimum labor standards set by law, and shall include compensable work hours, a minimum number of work hours, overtime, rest days, entitlement to leave benefits, social welfare benefits, and security of tenure,” Bello said.
To effectively implement the telecommuting program, the employer and employees shall adhere to and be guided by the mutually agreed policy or telecommuting agreement.
The policy includes the applicable code of conduct and performance evaluation and assessment; appropriate alternative workplace; use and cost of equipment; observance of data privacy, and occupational safety and health, among others.
Companies who will adopt the telecommuting work arrangement must notify DOLE’s nearest field or provincial office.