On August 23, 2022, the Department of Labor and Employment (“DOLE”) issued Labor Advisory No. 17, series of 2022, which governs the suspension of work in the private sector by reason of weather disturbances and similar occurrences. It provides that in the exercise of management prerogative, the employer may suspend work to ensure the safety and health of employees during weather disturbances and similar occurrences. Such suspension must be in coordination with the safety and health committee, safety officer, or any other responsible company officer.
The Labor Advisory also sets out the applicable rules on the payment of wages in case of such work suspensions. If the employee does not render work on that day, the accrued leave credits of the employee may be utilized. If the employee does not have accrued leave credits, the employee is not entitled to regular pay, except when there is a favorable company policy, practice, or collective bargaining agreement granting payment of wages on the said day. On the other hand, if the employee renders work on that day, the employee is entitled to full regular pay, provided that he or she worked for not less than six hours. If the employee rendered less than six hours of work, the employee is only entitled to the proportionate amount of the regular pay, without prejudice to an existing company policy or practice more beneficial to the employee. In any case, the employer may provide extra incentives or benefits to employees who report to work on such days.
Further, the Labor Advisory mandates that employees who fail or refuse to work by reason of imminent danger resulting from weather disturbances and similar occurrences should not be subject to any administrative sanction.
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