HR Trends and Highlights for August 2018

Therese Pempeña
t.pempena@salarium.com

Here are the top news, events, and announcements that are shaping the latest HR trends in the Philippines this August.

DOLE Amends Labor Code on Wage Reduction

The Department of Labor has issued a new department order regarding rules and regulations on deduction of employee wages. DO 195 or “Rules Amending Section 10 of Rule VIII of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code on Wage Reduction” was signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello. It effectively bans employers deducting wages from workers for payment plans from profiting as a result of their participation in the scheme. This is consistent with the Article 113(c) of the Labor Code of the Philippines, which states that employers can deduct from wages “in cases where the employer is authorized by law or regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.”

Palace Studies 14th Month Pay Bill for Private Sector

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque has stated that Malacañang will study Senate President Vicente Sotto III’s 14th month pay bill that has been pending since July 2016. Senate Bill No. 2 proposes that private sector employers be required to give their rank-and-file employees a 14th month pay regardless of their employment status or designation, as long as they worked at least one month during the calendar year. Although President Duterte has yet to make his position on the matter known, labor groups, several members of the House committee, and DOLE are open to the proposal. Sotto also vows to fast-track the approval of the “Act Requiring Employers in the Private Sector to Pay 14th Month Pay”, eyeing September for passing its third reading.

Bill Penalizing Work Discrimination Against Women Reaches Second Reading

The House of Representatives approved the second reading of House Bill 6769, a bill which seeks to strengthen the protection of women employees in the workplace. This bill will expand the prohibition of discriminatory acts against women on account of sex, amending Presidential Decree No. 442, otherwise known as “The Labor Code of the Philippines.” Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, principal author of the bill, said that the role of this legislation is to tear away the protective veil of sexual discrimination and make its violations visible through explicit text of law with regard to which actions constitute discrimination. If passed into law, it will also ensure that the gravity of the punishment suits the gravity of the offense. There’s no doubt that this will influence the  future trends in HR management.

President Duterte Signs Occupational Safety Bill Into Law

President Durterte has signed the Republic Act 11058, otherwise known as “An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS).” First billed in 2004, this law amends the 41-year-old Labor Code of the Philippines to help raise the compliance percentage rate of 67 percent in 2017, with 72 workplace accidents, 95 fatal injuries and 117 non-fatal injuries. “One death or one injury due to workplace accident is far too many,” according Senator Joel Villanueva, author of the measure and chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development. The new law clearly defines the duties of employers, workers, and other persons, and provides that all safety and health personnel are required to undergo mandatory training on basic occupational safety and healthy for safety officers as prescribed by the DOLE.

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