MANILA - A bill allowing private sector employees to work outside the office through "telecommuting" has been approved by the House of Representatives.
A total of 239 lawmakers voted to pass on third and final reading House Bill No. 7402 which would allow private sector employees to work offsite with the use of telecommunication or computer technologies through a flexible work arrangement.
Under the bill, employers can offer a telecommuting program to its employees on a voluntary basis and both sides must agree upon certain terms and conditions.
These shall include compensable work hours, a minimum number of work hours, overtime, rest days and entitlement to leave benefits.
The bill, principally authored by Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr., also requires employers to ensure that telecommuting workers are given equal treatment as those working within the company's premises.
Under the proposed measure, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is required to establish and maintain a telecommuting pilot program in select industries which shall last for a period of not more than three years.
A counterpart bill titled "An act institutionalizing telecommuting in the workplace and for other purposes" filed by Senators Joel Villanueva, and Cynthia Villar remains pending at the Senate.