Probationary period suspended if there is no work due to ECQ or GCQ

  • The counting of the probationary period is suspended, if due to enhanced community quarantine or general community quarantine, (1) the establishment has temporarily ceased or closed operations, and/or (2) probationary employees are temporarily not required to report for work on account thereof.

On 31 March 2020, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Labor Advisory No. 14, Series of 2020 (L.A. 14) stating that the one-month ECQ from March 17 to April 17 will not be included for purposes of counting the probationary period. The advisory was posted in the official website of DOLE.

On 09 May 2020, the DOLE issued Labor Advisory No. 14-A, Series of 2020 (L.A. 14-A), further expanding the suspension of counting the probationary period if the probationary employees are unable to work due to the ECQ or GCQ. The advisory was posted in the official website of the DOLE’s Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR).

DOLE Labor Advisory No. 14-A

DOLE Labor Advisory No. 14-A, Series of 2020, is a supplement to DOLE Labor Advisory No. 14, Series of 2020.

“For purposes of the six-month probationary period, the period during which the enhanced or general community quarantine is enforced where the establishment has temporarily ceased or closed operations and/or the worker was temporarily not required to report for work on account thereof, is not included in the six-month probationary period as required under Article 296 of the Labor Code, as renumbered.” (Par. 2, DOLE Labor Advisory No. 14-A, Series of 2020)

DOLE Labor Advisory No. 14

In Labor Advisory No. 14, only the one-month ECQ from March 17 to April 17 was excluded from the counting of the probationary period.

References

Labor Advisory No. 14 is found in DOLE’s official website.

Labor Advisory No. 14-A is found in the Bureau of Labor Relations website.

Effects on Probationary Employees

Due to above DOLE Labor Advisories, the following are the effects on probationary employees:

  1. The probationary period is dependent on the ECQ or GCQ, which could last for some time.
  2. The remaining period of the probationary period will be served or continued only after the lifting of the ECQ or GCQ.
  3. The probationary employees should be allowed to find other gainful employment while they are unable to work with the current employer due to the ECQ or GCQ. If there is no longer that restriction, and they are directed to return to work, they have the option to continue with their probation or resign in order to continue with the other work.

While employers are experiencing extraordinary difficulties in managing their businesses, and regular employees would be given priority, it is recommended that employers give due consideration to their probationary employees given the effects of the advisories to their probation period.