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Exec: Impact of virus on workers expected

The Department of Labor and Employment Region 11 (DOLE-11) has announced that the COVID-19 has led to closure of businesses because of the losses that they suffered.

Guesting on the Davao City Disaster Radio on Thursday, Lawyer Connie Torralba, mediator-arbitrator of DOLE Mediation-Arbitration and Legal Service Unit, said the agency has noted the retrenchment of workers because of the closure of the companies that suffered losses in the last three months due to the pandemic.

“Nakita namo ‘no, na tungod aning Covid pandemic there may be mass retrenchment that will happen in the companies, sa mga industries nato. That is why nagpagawas ang department og mga labor advisories suggesting or encouraging the employers to implement alternative schemes,” Torralba said, referring schemes like work-from-home, shifting, or alternative work arrangements.

Torralba said those who were affected by the downsizing or retrenchment have also the right to security of tenure. “Meaning to say, dili sila mapahawa sa employer without just cause or authorized cause and without procedural due process,” she said, although she explained that the situation is different for employees who are not regular in status.

She added that employees who are regular in status are entitled to separation pay upon termination equivalent to one-half or one month of the salary which is ever is higher, for every year of service.

She added that employers must also give workers a 30-day notice before the separation takes effect.

“Base sa atoang balaod, ang company dapat siya maghatag og 30-day notice sa mga empleyado before the effectivity of the separation,” she said, pointing out that those who would want to immediately cease operations should also pay a salary of one month, outside of the separation pay, to implement its action.

On the other hand, the employer is also entitled to a 30-day grace period to comply with the employee’s final pay after the separation is effective.

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