Employers told to pay workers in full, on time, not in tranches

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  • The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) warned employers on Wednesday to pay their workers’ wages in full and at the right time and not in tranches, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

    Labor Undersecretary Joji Aragon encouraged workers to report employers that violate the salary policy.

    Under existing labor laws, wages shall be given not less than once every two weeks or twice within a month at intervals not exceeding 16 days.

    “We don’t agree with the payment of salaries in tranches,” she said in a virtual press briefing.

    Aragon said employees who report for work should receive what is due them every month or every 15 days.

    The DOLE official said the department is open to accept complaints of workers as well as suggestions of employers over the matter.

    Last month, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III called on private companies and other big enterprises “to take the extra mile” in assisting their workers during the crisis situation, instead of resorting to retrenchment amid the work stoppages, suspension of public transportation and restricted movement of people in the communities.

    Bello likewise proposed subsidies for employers to avoid further job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The government is studying a subsidy that would cover 25 to 50 percent of a company’s payroll on the condition that employers avoid retrenchment, he said.

    “While such establishments were effectively placed on temporary closure by the ECQ, it is advised that such establishments report their temporary closures with the appropriate DOLE Office using the Establishment Report on COVID-19 prescribed under the COVID-19 Flexi-Work Advisory,” Bello said in a memorandum order.

    Such temporary closures arising from COVID-19 and effective for the duration of the ECQ may be distinguished from a bona fide suspension of work operations allowed under Article 301 of the Labor Code, he said.(V. Barcelo, MS)

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