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MANILA — The new implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Telecommuting Act aims to redefine workplaces and employees during remote work arrangements, the labor department said Thursday.
Labor Undersecretary Benjo Santos Benavidez said Department Order 237 redefines alternative workplaces as areas where remote employees can access telecommunications or computer technology.
Alternative workplaces can now be considered regular workplaces, Benavidez added.
"Ang significance nito ay patungkol sa benepisyo na puwedeng ibigay sa telecommuting employee tulad ng mga minimum wage sa labor standards at employees compensation," he said.
The new IRR also states that employers must shoulder facilities, equipment, or supply related to the telecommuting program that employees would use for their work.
These could be considered as "ordinary and necessary costs," said the labor official.
"Sa madaling salita, ito ay bahagi ng gastusin ng negosyo at binabayaran ng mga employee," Benavidez said.
Employers must still adhere to labor standards in implementing this program, as most workers shift to this mode as the pandemic persists.
The revised IRR was the result of nearly two months of consultations with concerned sectors, the DOLE said, adding that the revisions passed scrutiny from the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council.
Under the new rules, alternative work arrangements — such as remote work — are voluntary.