DOLE presses job preservation; says cost of Covid control on employers

May 21, 2020 | By: DOLE

The labor department is pushing for the preservation of employment by businesses and enterprises as the country slowly transitions into the new normal amid the global health pandemic.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Monday issued guidelines on how best employers can protect jobs, and prevent layoffs and retrenchments.

In a separate advisory, meanwhile, DOLE also said the cost of preventing the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces as provided for in its joint guidelines with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) should be shouldered by employers.

Labor Advisory No. 17 “highly encourages” work-from-home and telecommuting for employees in businesses and industries already allowed to resume operations under the modified enhanced community quarantine or general community quarantine.

It also spells out a menu of alternative work arrangements that employers may resort to in order to forestall further business reverses, while at the same time protecting jobs, preventing closures and termination of workers.

Also, guidelines, emphasized that employers, contractors and subcontractors, or their principals, should shoulder expenses in the conduct of the following prevention and control measures: testing of employees; disinfection of facilities; provision of hand sanitizers; procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), such as facemasks; putting up of signages; the orientation and training of workers including the provision of IEC materials on COVID-19 prevention and control; and other measures necessary to fight and protect their workers and employees.

These minimum health standards are contained in the joint DOLE-DTI Interim Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19, dated April 30;Department Order No. 35, dated May 3, 2020 on Construction Safety Guidelines for the Implementation of all DPWH Projects During the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis; and Department Memorandum No. 2020-0220, dated May 11, 2020, on the Interim Guidelines for the Return-To-Work, issued by the Department of Health (DOH).For contractual workers; such as security guards, maintenance crews and janitorial workers the expenses shall be borne by the principal, or client, of the contractor or subcontractor.

Source: DOLE

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