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Senate approves ‘work-from-home’ bill on final reading

The Senate on Monday voted on third and final reading a bill encouraging companies to adopt a work-from-home program to help ease traffic in Metro Manila and other urban cities.

Senate Bill No. 1363 or the Telecommuting Act of 2017 authored by Senators Joel Villanueva and Cynthia Villar was approved with 22 affirmative votes.

The bill defines telecommuting as the partial or total substitution of computers or telecommunication technologies, or both, for the commute to work by employees.

The adoption of the program seeks to ease the worsening traffic situation in urban cities by allowing more employees to work at home.

Villanueva, chair of the Senate labor committee, said the measure also seeks to protect the rights of home-based workers by ensuring that they have equal pay, leave benefits and promotion as their counterparts in the office.

“Employers must ensure that measures are taken to prevent the telecommuting employees from being isolated from the rest of the working community in the company,” Villanueva added

The senator said the proposed law would not be mandatory and instead give the employers the discretion on whether to offer telecommuting to their workers or not. — Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez/RSJ, GMA News