IN VIEW of the convenience brought by the advancement of technology, a lawmaker pushed for the “Work-at-Home Act of 2016” which will mandate government and non-government offices to formulate policies about work-at-home programs.
AKO Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe filed House Bill (HB) No. 4291 to give government employees the alternative to work at the spaces of their homes with the flexibility of time.
“By providing at least a one-day respite from the stressful commute, this measure seeks to promote the welfare of workers who will have an extra time to stay at home while still doing some work-related activity,” Batocabe said.
“Traffic congestion and overcrowding of buildings in most central business hubs in Metro Manila and other cities continue to take its toll on employees, who waste increasingly more time in their commute to and from work,” Batocabe added.
Metro Manila has an estimated 4.7 million workers, while the space and time it takes to transport these people adversely affect the movement of the economy, Batocabe said.
He said the longer time employees stay on the road, the fewer tasks they accomplish for their work.
With the development of the Information and Communications Technology, Batocabe said previous tasks that cannot be accomplished at home can now be facilitated and performed at the comfort of personal spaces.
“Adopting work-at-home policies will be beneficial not only for the workers but also the employers. This will decrease the utility costs in the operation of their businesses and at the same time, it will also allow them to maximize and put office space into a more efficient use,” Batocabe said.
He said the work-at-home policies should permit employees at least once a week to perform their duties without their physical presence in the office.
Furthermore, the lawmaker said they seek to establish clear guidelines on the supervision of employees working at home with the necessary coordination of their schedules and results-based evaluation, adding it will also set rules on the confidentiality of work information.
“Corollary to the law is the strict inspection of the premises, books of accounts, and record of companies pertaining to their work-at-home programs to ensure that they are really observing the law,” Batocabe added.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) shall facilitate the monitoring of non-government offices by requiring them to submit their policies six months after the effectivity of the law.
The Civil Service Commission (CSC) shall likewise monitor the work-at-home efforts of government offices and their subscription to the guidelines brought by the measure.