4-day work week possible if House approves bill

MANILA, Philippines – The bill that seeks to allow companies to implement a compressed work week scheme unanimously got the approval of the House committee on labor on Monday, May 15.

Baguio City Representative Mark Go told reporters on Wednesday, May 17, that his House Bill (HB) Number 5068 proposes to allow laborers to work for 4 or 5 days a week, instead of the current maximum of 6 days required by the Labor Code.

“Right now, under our Labor Code, [the] number of work days per week is 6 days, and the number of hours a day is 8 hours. What I propose in my bill is to allow employers to go into compressed work week, which means that instead of working 8 hours a day, [the] employees will work for more than 8 hours but not to exceed 48 hours a week. It can be for 5 days or 4 days,” said Go.

He explained that should an employee opt to work just for 4 days a week, doing so would require him or her to work for 12 hours a day. 

Employees will only be paid overtime should they work for more than 48 hours a week.

Go clarified, however, that HB 5068 only makes the compressed work week scheme voluntary for companies to implement.

The lawmaker said his bill, if passed into law, would be beneficial to Filipino laborers, who will be given a chance to have more rest days. 

“Well, [one of these is the] flexibility of the company to help them improve their productivity. At the same time, this will help ‘yong tinatawag nating (what we call as) work-life balance of the employees,” he said.

But won’t working for 12 hours a day for 4 days be more tiring for employees?

“You have rest day for 3 days.That’s the advantage. You work 4 days but you are given 3 days [as] rest days. So that will reinvigorate already the people working for companies,” said Go. 

 After passing the committee level, HB 5068 goes to the plenary for 2nd and 3rd readings. It needs a counterpart measure passed in the Senate to become a law. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the Senate and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.