MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is urging private companies to provide a COVID-19 isolation and quarantine leave program.
Under Labor Advisory No. 01 released Monday, January 17, the department said employees who fall under the government’s definition of a close contact or a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case should complete home-based or facility-based quarantine.
Given this, DOLE called on employers to adopt a COVID-19 paid leave program “on top of existing benefits.”
Under the proposed scheme, workers who are exposed to an infected person or have contracted COVID-19 may still receive wages even if they have to be quarantined or isolated, without using their existing sick, emergency, or vacation leaves.
Earlier, the labor department said it could not mandate the payment of isolation and quarantine leave benefits because there is no enabling law.
The House labor panel has already approved the pandemic leave bill, ready to be tackled at the plenary. House Bill No. 7909, if passed into law, would provide 14 days of additional leave benefits to workers who would be affected by COVID-19.
The counterpart measure at the Senate is pending at the committee level. – Rappler.com
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