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Telecommuting Program

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1. Concept

As used in R.A. 11165, the term “telecommuting” refers to a work from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunications and/or computer technologies. (Section 3, R.A. 11165, Telecommuting Act)

Telecommuting – refers to a work arrangement that allows an employee in the private sector to work from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunication and/or computer technologies. (Section 2[b], DOLE Department Order No. 202, Series of 2019, Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 11165)

Alternative workplace – refers to a location other than the regular workplace. (Section 2[a], Ibid.)

Telecommuting agreement – refers to the mutual consent of the employer and the employee in the implementation of a telecommuting work arrangement based on the telecommuting program of the company, Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), if any, and other company rules and regulations. (Section 2[c], Ibid.)

Telecommuting employee – refers to a person who is on a telecommuting work arrangement. (Section 2[d], Ibid.)

Telecommuting program – refers to a set of guidelines and rules governing the implementation of a telecommuting work arrangement. (Section 2[e], Ibid.)

2. Telecommuting Program

An employer in private sector may offer a telecommuting program to its employees on a voluntary bases, and upon such terms and conditions as they may mutually agree upon: Provided, That such terms and conditions shall not be less than the minimum labor standards set by law, and shall include compensable work hours, minimum number of work hours, overtime, rest days, and entitlement to leave benefits. In all cases, the employer shall provide the telecommuting employee with relevant written information in order to adequately apprise the individual of the terms and conditions of the telecommuting program, and the responsibilities of employee. (Section 4, R.A. 11165)

a. Contents

To effectively implement the telecommuting program, the employer and employees shall adhere to and be guided by the mutually agreed policy or telecommuting agreement which stipulates for the following provisions, including but not limited to:

1) Eligibility;

2) Applicable code of conduct and performance evaluation and assessment;

3) Appropriate alternative workplace/s;

4) Use and cost of equipment;

5) Work day and/or hours;

6) Conditions of employment, compensation, and benefits particularly those unique to telecommuting employees;

7) Non-diminution of benefits;

8) Occupational safety and health;

9) Observe of data privacy policy;

10) Dispute settlement; and,

11) Termination or change of work arrangement. (Paragraph 2, Section 3, DOLE D.O. 202-2019)

b. Termination or change of telecommuting work arrangement

The employer or employee may terminate or change the telecommuting work arrangement, in accordance with the telecommuting policy or agreement without prejudice to employment relationship and working conditions of the employee, at no cost to the latter. (Paragraph 3, Section 3, Ibid.)

3. Effect on existing agreements and Company practice or policy

The terms of any similar voluntary agreement between an employee and an employer, such as existing company practice or policy allowing work from home or similar arrangements providing substantially similar or higher benefits, entered before the effective date of Republic Act No. 11165 and this Rules shall not be impaired, provided that the employer shall duly notify the DOLE of such agreement. (Section 9, Ibid.)

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References

  • R.A. 11165 – Telecommuting Act
  • DOLE Department Order No. 202, Series of 2019, Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 11165
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