Labor laws on working conditions do not apply to everyone. Hence, unless otherwise stated, the succeeding provisions of laws and rules on working conditions apply to employees in all establishments and undertakings whether for profit or not, except to the following:[1]

  • Government employees;
  • Managerial employees;[2]
  • Officers or members of a managerial staff;[3]
  • Field personnel;[4]
  • Members of the family of the employer who are dependent on him for support;
  • Domestic helpers;
  • Persons in the personal service of another; and
  • Workers who are paid by results as determined by the Secretary of Labor in appropriate regulations.

Those that are not exempted above are referred to as “covered employees”.

The employee’s regular normal hours of work are not to exceed eight hours a day.[5] This is the 8-hour workday rule.

The work hours include: (a) all time during which an employee is required to be on duty or to be at a prescribed workplace, and (b) all time during which an employee is suffered or permitted to work.[6]

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The Amazon case – In the U.S., warehouse employees of Amazon filed a labor case against the retail giant seeking to be compensated for the daily 30-minute security check on their way out of the premises. The U.S. Supreme Court held that such was not compensable because.

Comment: The retail giant would have been liable if the case was decided under Philippine labor laws. Unlike U.S. labor laws, there is a clear, specific, and categorical provision of Philippine labor law that is applicable. Philippine Labor Code specifically states that working hours include all time during which an employee is required to be on duty or to be at a prescribed workplace.[7] A working hour is compensable.

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Rest periods of short duration during work hours are counted as hours worked.[8]

Best Legal Practices:

Employer to decide work time – The employer is the one who decides the time of work (beginning to end) subject to the employment contract, company policy, or CBA.

Flexible work arrangement – The employer and the employee may agree to a flexible work arrangement, wherein the employee may be permitted to choose when to start and complete the 8-hour work.

As a general rule, the employee is entitled to at least 60 minutes time-off for regular meals every workday. By way of exceptions, the time may be shortened to not less than 20 minutes provided that such shorter meal period is credited as compensable hours worked in these situations: 

  • Where the work is non-manual work in nature or does not involve strenuous physical exertion;
  • Where the establishment regularly operates not less than 16 hours a day;
  • In cases of actual or impending emergencies or there is urgent work to be performed on machineries, equipment, or installations to avoid serious loss which the employer would otherwise suffer; and
  • Where the work is necessary to prevent serious loss of perishable goods.[9]

For lectures, meetings, training programs, and other similar activities, the employee’s attendance are not counted as working time if all of the following conditions are met: (a) attendance is outside of the employee’s regular working hours; (b) attendance is in fact voluntary; and (c) the employee does not perform any productive work during such attendance.[10] Thus, if either one of them is lacking, the employee’s attendance is compensable.

The employee’s undertime work on a particular day cannot be offset by overtime work on another.[11] The 8-hour workday rule applies on a daily basis.

*For comments or feedback: info@jdpconsulting.ph

References

[1] Ibid. Paragraph 1, Article 82.

[2] Managerial employees are “those whose primary duty consist of the management of the establishment in which they are employed or of a department or subdivision thereof, and to other officers or members of the managerial staff (Paragraph 2, Article 82, Labor Code).

[3] IMPLEMENTING RULES OF BOOK III OF THE LABOR CODE, Section 2(c), Rule I. One is an officer or member of a managerial staff if he perform the following duties and responsibilities: (1) The primary duty consists of the performance of work directly related to management policies of their employer; (2) Customarily and regularly exercise discretion and independent judgment; (3) (i) Regularly and directly assist a proprietor or a managerial employee whose primary duty consists of the management of the establishment in which he is employed or subdivision thereof; or (ii) execute under general supervision work along specialized or technical lines requiring special training, experience, or knowledge; or (iii) execute under general supervision special assignments and tasks; and, (4) Who not devote more than 20 percent of their hours worked in a workweek to activities which are not directly and closely related to the performance of the worked described in Nos. (1), (2), and (3). (Ibid.)

[4] Field personnel are “non-agricultural employees who regularly perform their duties away from the principal place of business or branch office of the employer and whose actual hours of work in the field cannot be determined with reasonable certainty” (Paragraph 3, Article 82, Labor Code). Non-agricultural field personnel are excluded if they regularly perform their duties away from the principal or branch office or place of business of the employer and hose actual hours of work in the field cannot be determined with reasonable certainty (IMPLEMENTING RULES OF BOOK III OF THE LABOR CODE, Section 2(f), Rule I).

[5] LABOR CODE. Article 83. There is a special provision for health personnel – See Article 83.

[6] Ibid. Paragraph 1, Article 84. For principles in determining hours worked, see IMPLEMENTING RULES OF BOOK III OF THE LABOR CODE, Section 4, Rule I.

[7] Ibid. Paragraph 1, Article 84. For principles in determining hours worked, see IMPLEMENTING RULES OF BOOK III OF THE LABOR CODE, Section 4, Rule I.

[8] LABOR CODE. Paragraph 2, Article 84. Coffee breaks from 5 to 20 minutes are short rest periods (Last Paragraph, Section 7, Rule I, Implementing Rules of Book III).

[9] Ibid. Article 85, cf. IMPLEMENTING RULES OF BOOK III OF THE LABOR CODE, Section 7, Rule I.

[10] IMPLEMENTING RULES OF BOOK III OF THE LABOR CODE, Section 6, Rule I.

[11] LABOR CODE. Article 88.