DOLE urges employers to provide paid isolation, quarantine leave benefits

The Department of Labor and Employment is urging employers in the private sector to extend paid leave, on top of existing leave benefits, to workers who have to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19

1/17/2022 11:20:00 AM

The Department of Labor and Employment is urging employers in the private sector to extend paid leave, on top of existing leave benefits, to workers who have to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19

The Department of Labor and Employment is urging employers in the private sector to extend paid leave, on top of existing leave benefits, to workers who have to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.

The department said employers are encouraged to adopt an appropriate leave program in consultation with their workers. It added that other leave benefits stated under the company policy, the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Labor Code of the Philippines, and special laws should still separately apply.

"The paid isolation and quarantine leaves shall be without prejudice to other benefits provided by the Social Security System and the Employees' Compensation Commission," the advisory further noted.Last week, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines Party-list said it met with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to push for mandatory isolation and quarantine leave, as infections among workers nationwide continue to climb.

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DOLE issued the advisory on Monday"to ensure safe and humane working conditions" amid the ongoing surge in coronavirus cases. The department said employers are encouraged to adopt an appropriate leave program in consultation with their workers. It added that other leave benefits stated under the company policy, the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Labor Code of the Philippines, and special laws should still separately apply. "The paid isolation and quarantine leaves shall be without prejudice to other benefits provided by the Social Security System and the Employees' Compensation Commission," the advisory further noted. Last week, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines Party-list said it met with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to push for mandatory isolation and quarantine leave, as infections among workers nationwide continue to climb. Under the updated Department of Health guidelines , fully vaccinated COVID-19 patients with mild or no symptoms would only need to isolate for seven days. However, those who have yet to get or complete their coronavirus shots would have to isolate for 10 days. The period is also 10 days for mild cases, while it is 21 days for severe and critical infection, regardless of vaccination status. Close contacts who are fully vaccinated would have to quarantine for five days, but with monitoring of symptoms until the 14th day, while the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated would have to quarantine for two weeks. The country's active COVID-19 cases reached a new all-time high of nearly 291,000 on Monday, out of the over 3.2 million total number of infected, after the DOH​ confirmed 37,070 new infections.