Management may initiate assessment for labor law compliance through Joint Assessment.

Coverage

The Joint Assessment or Assessment covers all private establishments, including their branches and workplaces. However, those with validTripartite Certificate of Compliance with Labor Standards (TCCLS) are not covered by the Assessment.[1]

A TCCLS refers to the DOLE certificate issued to an establishment that has been verified by the Tripartite Certification committee as compliant with Labor Standards, Occupational Safety and Health Standards, and Child Labor Laws, with no pending case with the DOLE involving violations of labor laws, and no case of fatal accidents, permanent total/partial disability or occupational illness within a period of one year at a time of application as required by Department Order No. 115-A, Series of 2012.[2]

Priority establishments and workplaces

For the Assessment, the following establishments and workplaces will be prioritized:

  1. Those engaged in hazardous work;
  2. Those employing child employees;
  3. Those engaged in contracting and subcontracting arrangements;
  4. Those who are Philippine registered ships or vessels engaged in domestic shipping; and
  5. Those employing 10 or more employees.[3]

Procedure for Assessment

The following are the procedure or steps for Assessment:

1) Assignment of Establishment and Issuance of Letter and Authority to Assess – The DOLE Regional Director will assign the LLCO to an establishment subject of an Assessment and correspondingly issue a Letter and Authority to Assess. The letter should state the purpose of the assessment.

2) Inspection of the Establishment by the LLCO – With the Letter and Authority to Assess, the LLCO will proceed to the establishment to inspect for labor law compliance.

3) Examination of Employment Records by the LLCO – In the presence of the representative of the employers and employees, the LLCO will review the employment records, interview the employees, and inspect the work premises to determine compliance with labor laws and social legislations. The said representatives may provide additional information or data for the consideration of the LLCO.

4) Issuance of Notice Results and Certificate(s) of Compliance by the LLCO – If the establishment is found to be compliant, the LLCO will issue the accomplished Assessment Checklist and the Notice of Resultsindicating compliance with labor laws.  Further, the LLCO shall recommend to the DOLE Regional Director the issuance of Certificate(s) of Compliance. Based on the documents of compliance submitted, the DOLE Regional Director will then validate the findings of the LLCO and issue the Certificate(s) of Compliance.

5) Non-Compliant Establishment – If there is non-compliance, the LLCO will issue the establishment with the accomplished Assessment Checklistindicating the noted deficiency.[4]

Remedial Procedures for Non-Compliant Establishment

In correcting or remedying the deficiency of a non-compliant establishment, the following will have to be observed:

A. 10-day Remedial Period – For deficiency involving monetary and/or social welfare benefits, the establishment has to institute corrective measures within ten (10) days from receipt of the Assessment Checklist. Otherwise, a Notice of Results indicating the noted deficiency will be issued by the LLCO. Upon institution by the establishment of the required corrective measures, the LLCO will recommend to the Regional Director the issuance of Certificate(s) of Compliance. Based on the documents of compliance submitted, the DOLE Regional Director will then validate the findings of the LLCO and issue the Certificate(s) of Compliance.[5]

B. Occupational Safety and Health Standards – If the deficiency involves occupational safety and health standards, the following will have to be undertaken:

1) If it poses imminent danger to the life and limb of the employees, the LLCO will recommend to the establishment the necessary corrective action to immediately abate the imminent danger/dangerous occurrence. If abated, the LLCO will submit a report to the Regional Director.

If not abated, the LLCO will issue a Notice of Results to the establishment and submit a report to the Regional Director on the existence of imminent danger/dangerous occurrence and/or other labor standards violations and recommend a Work Stoppage Order (WSO) within twenty-four (24) hours. Upon receipt of such recommendation, the Regional Director will immediately validate and issue a WSO, copy furnished the DOLE Secretary. The LLCO shall serve the WSO within twenty-four hours from receipt thereof. After 24 hours from service, the Regional Director will conduct a mandatory conference to determine whether the imminent danger/dangerous occurrence still exist. The mandatory conference will not exceed seventy-two (72) hours).

During the mandatory conference, the establishment is allowed to submit proof that the imminent danger/dangerous occurrence no longer exists. In such case, the Regional Director will direct the LLCO to verify the claim of the establishment. If it is verified, the LLCO will recommend the lifting of the WSO through a Compliance and Validation Report. Based on the documents of compliance and validation report, the Regional Director will lift the WSO.

A full report on the Investigation will immediately be submitted to the DOLE Secretary through the Bureau of Working Conditions.[6]

2) If it pertains to personal protective equipment, the correction should be immediately effected;[7]

3) If it pertains to deficiencies other than those mentioned above, the employer and the employees will have to formulate an Action Plan with the assistance of the LLCO. Such Action Plan should be formulated within ten (10) days from receipt of the assessment checklist. Within ten (10) days from the formulation of the Action Plan, the employer will submit a status report on its compliance with the Regional Office. The Action Plan has to be implemented within the remediation period which will not exceed three (3) months.

After the remediation period, the LLCO will validate the compliance of the establishment. If compliant, the procedures for recommendation and issuance of the Certificate(s) of Compliance will be followed. If non-compliant, the LLCO will issue a Notice of Results and then recommend to the Regional Director the immediate issuance of a Compliance Order to do either of the following: (a) Formulate an Action Plan; (b) Submit the status report; and (c) Fully implement the Action Plan within the remediation period.[8]

Authorized representatives of the employees

For purposes of representation during the Assessment, the following persons are deemed the authorized representative of the employees:

In organized establishments – Any designated officer of the local union or any of its duly authorized representative designated as such in the collective bargaining agreement.

In unorganized establishments – The employees’ representative are to come from:

  1. Labor Management Council (LMC);
  2. In the absence of LMC, the safety and health committee;
  3. In the absence of the said committee, the family welfare committee; or
  4. In the absence of all of the above, any rank-and-file employee designated by the majority of the employees present at the time of assessment.[9]

Criminal action for employers who refuse access to records and premises

If the employer refuses to provide access to records and premises at the first visit, the LLCO will issue a Notice of Assessment containing the schedule of the visit through registered mail or other recognized modes of service.

If the employer continuously refuse to provide access to records and premises despite receipt of the Notice of Assessment, the LLCO will indicate it in the Notice of Results and will constitute a violation of Article 128 in relation to Article 228 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended. The Regional Director will take appropriate criminal action against the employer.[10]

 

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[1] Ibid. Section 1, Rule IV.

[2] Ibid. Sec. 1(y), Rule II.

[3] Ibid. Sec. 2, Rule IV.

[4] Ibid. Sec. 4, Rule IV.

[5] Ibid. Sec. 4 (E.1), Rule IV.

[6] Ibid. Sec. 4 (E.2.1), Rule IV, cf. Sec. 3 (B.2) and B.3, Rule VI.

[7] Ibid. Sec. 4 (E.2.2), Rule IV.

[8] Ibid. Sec. 4 (E.2.3), Rule IV.

[9] Ibid. Par. 2, Sec. 4 (c), Rule IV.

[10] Ibid. Sec. 4 (F), Rule IV.