Health workers assured of limited work hours, holiday pay
MANILA, Philippines – Health workers in private hospitals are assured of an 8-hour work shift and other benefits in a new order released by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Department Order (DO) 182 says that normal working hours of health personnel of hospitals with a bed capacity of 100 should “not exceed 8 hours a day” in a week, exclusive of meal time.
Meal time should be limited to an hour but workers should be allowed a 5- to 20-minute rest period for snacks or coffee.
When setting up evening work arrangements, the order also obliges employers to regularly consult with their staff through established unions or organizations.
The new order, issued September 22, also says that the hours workers are required to be on call should be considered part of their regular duty. (READ: Why our nurses are leaving)
“A health personnel who is required to remain on call in the employer’s premises or so close thereto that he cannot use the time effectively and gainfully for his own purpose shall be considered working while on call," according to the order.
DO 182 defines health personnel as employees “engaged in health and health-related work” such as “physicians, nurses, nutritionists, dieticians, pharmacists, social workers, laboratory technicians, paramedical technicians, psychologists, midwives, attendants and all other allied health personnel.”
Aside from fixing work schedules, DO 182 also emphasized the minimum benefits health personnel are entitled to.
“Wages for all actual work hours and days shall not be lower than the applicable minimum wage rates. Wages shall be paid at least once every two weeks or twice a month at intervals not exceeding 16 days,” the order says.
Personnel should be paid “a holiday pay of 100% of the minimum wage even if he/she did not report for work” during a regular holiday. If he/she is called to work on a holiday, he/she should be paid twice the amount of the minimum wage.
Evening shift workers are entitled to an additional 10% of his/her basic wage.
The order also specifies the following paid leave benefits:
- 5-day service incentive leave annually
- 60-day maternity leave for female employees who gave birth through normal delivery; 78 days for caesarian delivery
- 7-day paternity leave
- 7-day parental leave for solo parents
- 10-day leave for victims of violence against women and children
- 60-day leave for women who underwent surgery “caused by gynecological disorders”
Implementation issues arising between management and employees should be settled through a 30-day concillation-mediation procedure conducted by the assigned desk in a DOLE regional office and attached agencies concerned. – Rappler.com
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