Compensation for COVID-19: Ensuring Compliance Through a Company Payroll System in the Philippines

BY Myla Eder Articles

Compensation for COVID-19: Ensuring Compliance Through a Company Payroll System in the Philippines

COVID-19 has been classified as an occupational or work-related disease, which means that Filipino workers who have been infected are entitled to receive compensation from the government. But what does this mean for employers and how does a company payroll system in the Philippines ensure compliance?

Occupational and Work-Related Diseases

Philippine labor law requires the private sector to provide workers compensation benefits to their employees through the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP). Employers are mandated to contribute a certain amount to the programme through the Social Security System (SSS). In return, employees who suffer work-related illnesses or accidents or in the case of death, may receive workers compensation benefits under the ECP.

The Department of Labor and Employment announced last April that the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) has approved the inclusion of COVID-19 in its list of occupational and work-related diseases.

Who are eligible to get the ECP grant?

  • Healthcare workers classified as confirmed case
  • Other frontliners, i.e., local epidemiology surveillance unit (LESU), barangay health emergency response team (BHERT) staff, screening and contact tracing teams
  • Police and military personnel
  • Other essential workers, i.e., retail store workers, etc.
  • Workers infected through workplace transmission

While healthcare workers classified as confirmed cases are automatically entitled to the ECP grant, the board resolution details how other workers can be deemed eligible:

  1. “There must be a direct connection between the offending agent or event and the worker based on epidemiologic criteria and occupational risk (e.g., healthcare workers, screening and contact tracing teams, etc.);
  2. “The tasks assigned to the worker would require frequent face-to-face and close proximity interactions with the public or with confirmed cases for healthcare workers;
  3. “Transmission occurred in the workplace; or
  4. “Transmission occurred while commuting to and from work.”

Those who are entitled may be able to get the following benefits under the ECP:

  1. Loss of income benefits
  2. Medical benefits
  3. Death and burial benefits

Compliance with Government-Mandated Benefits in Your Company Payroll System

The Employees’ Compensation Program is just one of the compensation packages for private and public employees, and their dependents in case of work-related illness, injury, or death. In order to qualify, the employee must be paying members of the Social Security System (SSS) or the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). However, the ECP is based on the employer’s contribution only and the employee is not obligated to pay for their EC contribution. The employer’s contribution is mandated by law and failure to comply may result in penalties.

In order for a qualified employee to file for an EC claim, the employer must be notified about his or her sickness, injury or death within five days from the occurrence of the contingency. However, if the contingency occurred during work hours at the place of work, and the employer or representative is aware of it, there is no need to submit a notice. On their part, employers are required to keep records of sickness, injury or death of their employees that must be submitted upon request by the SSS or GSIS. 

Compliance with these labor regulations is made easier with an automated company payroll system in the Philippines. Salarium enables employees to immediately file sick leaves anytime and anywhere through the Employee Self Service (ESS) portal. This also allows employers to immediately record absences due to illnesses or other incidents.

For SSS and GSIS members to get their full benefits including the ECP, employers must make sure that both member and employer contributions are fulfilled. Through Salarium, you can automatically deduct government contributions for SSS, Philhealth, and Pag-IBIG memberships. You can set up how often contributions are made and how they are calculated. You may also generate government forms pertaining to membership contributions and loan payments of your employees.

You can experience Salarium’s complete company payroll system in the Philippines for free. Sign up for your 30-day free trial.

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