MANILA - Injuries that led to an employee's disability or death while working from their homes are now compensable, according to the Employees' Compensation Commission (ECC).
Based on the Department of Labor and Employment's (DOLE) announcement on Wednesday, workers who "died or acquired disability due to injuries" while working from their houses are eligible for the commission's Employees’ Compensation Program.
The DOLE said the ECC approved Board Resolution No. 21-03-09 on Mar. 11 that set such policy as more firms switched to a flexible working arrangement amid the health crisis.
Among the requirements, according to the agency, is a "written directive or order" from the employer requiring them for work-from-home arrangement at their residence.
Under the program, employees who will suffer from work-related illness, injury, or death, are entitled to compensation benefits, including the following:
- loss of income benefits
- medical benefits
- funeral benefits
"Persons with work-related disabilities may also avail of rehabilitation services under the Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan (KaGabay) Program," the DOLE said.
The said services are the following:
- free physical, speech, or occupational therapy
- assistive devices
- livelihood training
- financial assistance
Stella Zipagan-Banawis, ECC’s executive director, said her commission issued the policy to adapt to the new work setup as the health crisis dragged on.
“Employees who are working from home are not exempted from possible work-connected disabilities or deaths due to injury-related incidents," said Banawis.
"We need to extend our benefits to cover work-connected injury or death that they may suffer while in the performance of their duties or specific tasks at their residences or dwelling places," she added.
According to a survey in September last year, most CEOs were willing to keep the current work-from-home or alternative work arrangements for their organizations even after the pandemic due to cost savings.