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Senator pushes flexitime for PHL employees

Senator Joel Villanueva has proposed a measure that will effectively grant employees and employers an option to implement flexible working arrangements, specifically in the number of working hours.

In an emailed statement on Sunday, Villanueva said he submitted on Tuesday, January 22, a measure which would amend Article 83 of the Labor Code of the Philippines which mandates that employees must have eight hours a day for five days.

"This is a relatively simple and straightforward bill that seeks to amend Article 83 of the Labor Code by making an exception to the normal eight (8) hours of work a day when the exigency of business operations or national emergency requires the adoption of a mutually agreed voluntary work arrangement between the employer and the employee," he said.

Under the proposed measure, the employer and the employee will mutually agree on work arrangements, provided that hours of work will not exceed 48 hours a week, and there is no diminution of existing benefits.

"We believe that alternative working arrangement or flexible working is not just a fad but necessity. We strongly believe that every Filipino worker deserves that we recognize it under our laws," said Villanueva.

"Now more than ever, companies allow non-traditional working arrangements like flexitime, four-day workweek, compressed workweek, working from home, shift flexibility, among others, to give their workers more independence and control over their work," he added.

Citing a research conducted in England, Villanueva said workers deliver better performance and are more productive when they are given more discretion or more control over their work.

The research, Villanueva said, showed that at least 15 percent of workers in the European Union have the freedom to change the beginning and ending times of their work, and approximately 5 percent of all workers across Europe have complete independence over their work.

“Mr. President, time indeed has come for flexible working schedule as a business strategy. It's an answer to the changes in the labor market and in the nature of employment,” Villanueva said. —Jon Viktor Cabuenas/LBG, GMA News