Another unreasonable imposition, I thought, when I first heard about the news that the House of Representatives approved House Bill No. 6152, providing for a compressed work week. My first impression was wrong, it turned out, but let’s talk about that in a while. The misimpression stemmed from the headlines — “House approves 4-day work week bill” (CNN), House OKs bill on 4-day workweek” (philstar), House passes 4-day workweek bill (rappler). The initial impression was this: the 4-day work week will be compulsory in nature.
As an aside, it’s not accurate to call it a 4-day work week. The law currently requires only one day of rest for every 6 consecutive days of work, which means that we technically have a 6-day work week. This is the reason why it’s called a “compressed work week,” and not a “4-day work week.”
Many companies, like stores in a mall, operate on a 7-day week basis. This means that they have to pay additional premium for employees working on their rest day. If the “4-day work week” is made compulsory, these companies will likely incur additional expenses for the additional rest day.
The compressed work week, however, is NOT compulsory in nature. Companies have the OPTION to adopt it. The compressed work week, after all, is not new. It has been recognized under an old regulation issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
So long as the compressed work week remains optional, I agree that this amendment is beneficial to both employee and the goose that lays the golden egg, the employer. House Bill No. 6152 still has to go through the Senate, and covers the normal hours of work, overtime work, and weekly rest day.
Here’s the full text of House Bill No. 6152 (the portions in uppercase are the added provisions).
Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Second Regular Season
House Bill No 6152
AN ACT INCREASING THE NORMAL WORK HOURS PER DAY UNDER A COMPRESSED WORK WEEK SCHEME, AMENDING ARTICLES 83, 87 AND 91 OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 442, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE LABOR CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES
SECTION 1. Article 83 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows:
Art. 83. Normal hours of work. — The normal hours of work of any employee shall not exceed eight (8) hours a day[.] EXCEPT IN CASES WHERE THE ENTERPRISE ADOPTS A COMPRESSED WORK WEEK SCHEME, BUT SHALL NOT EXCEED FORTY-EIGHT (48) HOURS A WEEK.
EMPLOYEES SHALL BE PERMITTED TO COMPLETE THEIR WORKING HOURS ON A COMPRESSED WORK WEEK SCHEME WHEREBY THE NORMAL WORK WEEK IS REDUCED TO LESS THAN SIX (6) DAYS BUT THE TOTAL NUMBER OF NORMAL WORK HOURS PER WEEK SHALL REMAIN AT FORTY-EIGHT (48) HOURS.
Health personnel in cities and municipalities with a population of at least one million (1,000,000) or in hospitals and clinics with a bed capacity of at least one hundred (100) shall hold regular office hours for eight (8) hours a day, for five (5) days a week, exclusive of time for meals, except where the exigencies of the service require that such personnel work for six (6) days or forty-eight (48) hours, in which case, they shall be entitled to an additional compensation of at least thirty percent (30%) of their regular wage for work on the sixth day. For purposes of this Article, “health personnel” shall include resident physicians, nurses, nutritionists, dietitians, pharmacies, social workers, laboratory technicians, paramedical technicians, psychologists, midwives, attendants and all other hospital or clinic personnel.”
SEC. 2. Article 87 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows:
“Art. 87. Overtime work. — Work may be performed beyond eight (8) hours a day OR FORTY EIGHT (48) HOURS A WEEK, provided that the employee is paid for the overtime work an additional compensation equivalent to [his] THE regular wage plus at least twenty-five percent (25%) thereof. Work performed beyond eight (8) hours OR NUMBER OF HOURS UNDER A COMPRESSED WORK WEEK SCHEME on a holiday or rest day shall be paid an additional compensation equivalent to the rate of the first eight (8) hours OR NUMBER OF HOURS UNDER A COMPRESSED WORK WEEK SCHEME on a holiday or rest day, plus at least thirty percent (30) thereof.”
SEC. 3. Article 91 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows:
“Art. 91. Right to weekly rest day. — (a) It shall be the duty of every employer, whether operating for profit or not, to provide each of [his] THE employees a rest period of not less than twenty-four (24) consecutive hours after every six (6) consecutive normal work days. IN THE CASE OF A COMPRESSED WORK WEEK SCHEME, A REST PERIOD OF NOT LESS THAN FORTY-EIGHT (48) HOURS BUT NOT MORE THAN SEVENTY-TWO (72) HOURS, AS THE CASE MAY BE, SHALL BE PROVIDED TO THE EMPLOYEES.
(b) The employer shall determine and schedule the weekly rest day of [his] THE employees subject to collective bargaining agreement and to such rules and regulations as the Secretary of Labor may provide. However, the employer shall respect the preference of employees as to their weekly rest day when such preference is based on religious grounds.”
SEC. 4. Rules and Regulations. — The Secretary of Labor and Employment shall promulgate the necessary implementing rules and regulations within ninety (90) days from the effectivity of this Act.
SEC. 5. Separability Clause. — Should any provision of this Act be declared unconstitutional, the remainder thereof not otherwise affected shall remain in full force and effect.
SEC. 6. Repealing Clause. — All laws, presidential decrees, executive orders, proclamations or administrative regulations that are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended, or modified accordingly.
SEC. 7. Effectivity. — This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.