Recall of employees
- Recalling employees is the act by the employer of directing them to return for work.
- While a management prerogative, it is subject to the two-fold limitations of good faith and employee rights.
Concept of recall
Recalling employees is the act by the employer of directing them to return for work.
The recall is usually preceded by a hiatus of no work, such as in a temporary work suspension or a temporary lay-off (a.k.a. forced leave or floating status), preventive suspension, and suspension as a penalty in case of a disciplinary action.
For instance, under the 6-month temporary work suspension under the Labor Code, the employer has the right to place affected employees under a temporary lay-off or floating status for legitimate business reasons, such as in a bona fide suspension of business operations or undertaking. Within the 6-month period, the employer has the right to recall the affected employees by directing them to return to work should the suspension of business operations or undertaking be lifted. Otherwise stated, if the business operations or undertaking resumes, the employer has the right to direct the employees to report for work.
“The law set six (6) months as the period where the operation of a business or undertaking may be suspended, thereby also suspending the employment of the employees concerned. The resulting temporary lay-off, wherein the employees likewise cease to work, should also not last longer than six (6) months. After the period of six (6) months, the employees should either then be recalled to work or permanently retrenched following the requirements of the law. Failure to comply with this requirement would be tantamount to dismissing the employees, making the employer responsible for such dismissal. Elsewise stated, an employer may validly put its employees on forced leave or floating status upon bona fide suspension of the operation of its business for a period not exceeding six (6) months. In such a case, there is no termination of the employment of the employees, but only a temporary displacement. When the suspension of the business operations, however, exceeds six (6) months, then the employment of the employees would be deemed terminated, and the employer would be held liable for the same.” (Innodata Knowledge Services, Inc. v. Inting, G.R. No. 211892, 06 December 2017)
Similarly, in case an employee has been placed under preventive suspension or is suspended as a penalty in case of a disciplinary action, the employer has the right to recall the said employee even before the end of the suspension period.
Limitations of management prerogative
In every exercise of management prerogative, the limitations of good faith and employee rights should be observed by the employer to avoid abusing its right to regulate all aspects of employment. Non-compliance with the limitations may render void the exercise of management prerogative and thus open the employer to liability for violating labor laws.
- Presidential Decree No. 442, a.k.a. Labor Code
- Jurisprudence or Supreme Court Decisions