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Should an employee who reported late for work and ended up working past his regular working schedule be paid overtime?
This is the usual question I get from employers who feel that the employee should make up for being late by extending his hours of work on the same day.
Philippine labor law prohibits the offsetting of undertime by rendering overtime.
In a case, the Supreme Court had the chance to decide on a similar situation and said that the undertime employee is still entitled to overtime pay. When undertime is offset against the overtime, the employee is ‘made to pay’ twice for his undertime hours. This is because the employee’s leave credits are reduced to the extent of the undertime hours while he is made to pay for the undertime hours with work beyond the regular working hours. Clearly, this is not a fair situation for the employee, even when the undertime is his fault.
The proper approach should be to deduct the undertime hours from the available leave credits of the employee and to pay the employee overtime for the extended hours of work.
If the employee has consumed his leave credits, his undertime hours may be deducted from his salary, but he should still be paid his overtime compensation for work performed beyond his regular working hours. (NATIONAL WATERWORKS and SEWERAGE AUTHORITY, vs. NWSA CONSOLIDATED UNIONS, ET AL.)
The present administration is serious about enforcing labor standards for the protection of workers.
The Department of Labor set in motion its campaign against the worst forms of contractualization with its launch of Project Labor Enforcement and Action Program or Project LEAP.
Project LEAP is in line with the 22-point labor and employment agenda of President Benigno S. Aquino III, specifically on the directive to the DOLE to promote the constitutionally protected rights of workers.
The goal of Project LEAP is to protect workers’ rights by maximizing compliance with labor standards, including the minimum wage, ECOLA, 13th month pay, holiday pay, service incentive leave, overtime pay, night-shift differential, SSS, Pag-ibig and Philhealth contributions.
Among the things the Project LEAP will look into are the compliance of labor standards in the agricultural industry, validity of Alien Employment Permits and the related Special Visa for Employment Generation (SVEG).
The nationwide inspection which is authorized by law as part of the visitorial powers of the Labor department will be conducted by the Department of Labor’s inspection personnel with the assistance of the Regional Coordinating Councils.
Balancing financial survival and the rights of employees during economic downtimes can be tricky for companies whose primary concern is to keep the business afloat for the benefit of everyone– shareholders, employees and clients.
Philippine labor laws are typically favorable to the employee with more rights and labor standards deemed by many foreigners doing business in the Philippines as obstacles to business growth.
Small and medium sized companies that struggle with dwindling revenues and lack of financing sources often wonder what their legal options are. The following suggestions are not magic bullets that offer quick cures for your business problems, but these may help manage brewing labor issues before they escalate into expensive litigation. Continue reading