Covid-19: Top 10 FAQ on Work from Home or Telecommuting
The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) aim to guide employers and employees on the above topic in the time of Covid-19.
The discussions are without prejudice to any stipulation in favor of the employees under an employment contract, Company Policies, Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), and other employment agreeements.
1. Is Work from Home a privilege?
Yes. Work from Home is a privilege, not a right.
Employees cannot demand work from home. They may request or apply for it subject to the approval of the management.
2. Is Work from Home a management prerogative?
Yes. Work from Home is a management prerogative.
The employer’s management prerogative or the right to regulate all aspects of employment, include the ways and means of doing work, such as work from home.
3. May work from home be allowed to some employees only?
Yes. Work from Home may be allowed to some employees only.
Employers have the management prerogative to decide which parts of the business, as well as who of the personnel, may be placed on work from home.
4. May Work from Home arrangement be reconsidered or withdrawn by the employers?
Yes. Work from Home arrangement may be reconsidered or withdrawn by the employers.
Employees do not have the right to insist work from home if the employer has decided against it.
5. Is Work from Home subject to the principle of a day’s wage for a day’s work.
Yes. Work from Home is subject to the principle of a day’s wage for a day’s work.
Employers should pay employees who are engaged to do work on any given day or for certain number of hours: Provided, that the compensation shall not be lower than the applicable minimum wage for a day, unless the employer is allowed to pay below the minimum wage as evidenced by a certification/authorization by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
6. May Work from Home have different total workhours than what is/was observed for office work?
Yes. Work from Home may have different total workhours than what is/was observed for office work.
Employers have the right to determine the work from home schedule in terms of start and end of a work shift, as well as how many hours in a day or how many days in a week, which may not be the same as those doing office work: Provided, that the same rules apply when it comes to overtime, unless a compressed workweek is observed.
7. May work from home policies require employees to comply with certain systems or practices to check attendance or prove the work hours rendered.
Yes. Work from home policies may require employees to comply with certain systems or practices to check attendance or prove the work hours rendered.
If employees fail/refuse to comply, such as not clocking in for work, this may be a ground or basis for no work, no pay. Employers should thus be clear of what they expect from employees to prove that work was done.
8. May Work from Home be in conjunction with office work?
Yes. Work from Home may be in conjunction with office work.
Employers may decide part work from home and part office work in a given week.
9. Are Work from Home Internet expenses chargeable to the employer?
It depends. Work from Home Internet expenses depend on whether online activities consume a lot of data or bandwidth.
The Work from Home policies should specify what activities are considered to consume a lot of data or bandwidth so that employees may be partly reimbursed since their data is being used. The key word is “partly”. Alternatively, the employers may reduce work hours that would amount to the Internet expenses.
10. Are Work from Home tools the responsibility of the employer?
It depends. Work from Home tools that are unique to the work or the business shall be the responsibility of the employer.
The Work from Home policies should indicate what tools that may be used by the employees. Generally, employees who have their own computers at home may use such devices to do work. However, if work requires using a Company laptop which has a proprietary software not usually found in other computers (and thus unique to the work or business), the employer shall be responsible for providing this tool.
This is updated regularly. For feedback: https://www.laborlaw.ph/contact/