Philippines Report

Senate approves bill allowing shorter work week for employees

Senate approves bill allowing shorter work week for employees

Filipino workers may enjoy more flexible schedules after Senate approves bill relaxing employment arrangements cleared Congress.

Voting 17-0, the Senate approved on Monday a bill filed by Sen. Joel Villanueva. It was among the measures tackled by the chamber on its first session day after the elections.

Under the proposed law, employees can opt out of rendering eight hours of work for five days a week. Instead, they can craft a “mutually agreed voluntary work arrangement” with their employer. 

Workers may choose to serve longer hours for a fewer number of days as long as they can meet the prescribed workweek time frame, which is usually 40 hours.

The law upholds the 48-hour labor limit per week. Existing benefits should be kept intact despite changes in work schedules.

“Compressed workweek arrangement will not only reduce cost of work transit, but will also enable employees to allocate more time for other personal and social obligations, thus further promoting work-life balance,” according to Villanueva's original bill.

The bill has been approved by the House of Representatives and only needs to be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte to become a law.

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