Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Private sector not covered by 4-day work week order: DOLE

The Department of Labor and Employment Tuesday clarified that the country's private sector is not covered by President Gloria Arroyo's order mandating a four-day work week for all government departments, bureaus, agencies, and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).

Nonetheless, Labor chief Patricia Sto. Tomas said the exclusion of the private sector from the President's order does not preclude employers in the sector from utilizing the same scheme in line with energy conservation, and all existing labor laws.

Sto. Tomas said the President's administrative order, which was signed on her behalf by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, noted the need to cushion the impact of the oil price increases on the government without prejudice to the maintenance and improvement of public services.

Pres. Arroyo had directed all departments, bureaus, offices, and other agencies of the Executive Branch of the government to adopt the four-day work week on the months of April and May.

Her order shall continue to be in force starting April until May, unless otherwise extended.

Accordingly, on these two months, all employees of the agencies covered shall report for work from Monday to Thursday of each week, except on holidays, and render services of 10 hours a day, exclusive of meal periods.

The order does not cover front line agencies involved in providing health, safety, security, protection, emergency, and other services that need to be provided on a continuous basis, Sto. Tomas said

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