Employers urged to treat workers as trade partners
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - August 18, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Private sector employers are being urged to treat their workers as partners in their businesses to encourage increased productivity and competitiveness.

“I urge all employers to treat your employees as your partners. Give your employees the mandatory benefits that are due them, including security of tenure,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III was quoted as saying in a Department of Labor and Employment statement yesterday.

 The labor chief noted that employers should comply with general labor and occupational safety and health standards.

 "Let them (workers) enjoy the benefits that are due them,” explained Bello.

In an earlier interview, Philippine Retailers Association President Paul Santos said that workers deserve certain rights that employers must respect regardless of their employment status.

"Employers are called upon to respect the rights of the employees. Regardless of your status whether you are regular, project-based, term or probationary, workers enjoy certain rights," Santos said.

Santos, who is a lawyer, said employees deserve to receive the very least the minimum wage or even above and statutory benefits such as SSS, Philhealth and Pag-IBIG. All workers also deserve to get 13th month pay.

"These are the rights guaranteed by the law regardless of status," the PRA official noted.  The labor chief further cited the poor working conditions of sales ladies at some malls, saying most of them are contractual.

DOLE said that poor working conditions affect the health and productivity of the workers.

Directive

Last month, Bello issued a memorandum directing the agency's regional offices to profile contractors and subcontractors based on the findings of the labor law compliance officers of the agency.

DOLE's regional directors are to submit profile of contracting and subcontracting arrangements in their respective regions on 31 August 2016.

 DOLE also issued Department Order 162 and Labor Advisory 10 as part of the government’s effort against illegitimate contractualization.

DO 162 suspended the registration of new applicants as contractors or subcontractors under Department Order 18-A.

Labor Advisory 10, on the other hand, prohibits labor-only contracting and ensures strict implementation and enforcement of workers’ right to security of tenure. (FREEMAN)

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