Can an employee refuse to work because of 'bad weather'?

Advisory tackles compensation and employees' right to refuse work

Can an employee refuse to work because of 'bad weather'?

The Philippine Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) has laid out the guidelines regarding work suspensions and compensation for employees amid the rainy season.

According to DOLE's recent labour advisory, employers have the authority to suspend work in the event of weather disturbances to ensure the safety of employees.

"Except as provided for by law or appropriate proclamation, employers in the private sector may, in the exercise of management prerogative and in coordination with the safety and health committee, safety officer, or any other responsible company officer, suspend work to ensure the safety and health of their employees during weather disturbances and similar occurrences," said Labour Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma in the advisory.

In terms of compensation, employees who rendered work for at least six hours are entitled to full regular pay.

"If less than six hours of work, the employee shall only be entitled to the proportionate amount of the regular pay, without prejudice to existing company policy or practice more beneficial to the employee," read the advisory.

If the said employee was unworked on the day of suspension, the advisory said that they are not entitled to regular pay unless there is a company policy or collective bargaining agreement granting wages on the said day.

Read more: New Philippines bill wants ecozone firms to adopt WFH

Right to refuse

In cases of weather disturbances, employees also have the right to refuse work due to the imminent danger resulting from it, according to the advisory.

DOLE stressed that these workers "shall not be subject to any administrative sanction" in the event that they refuse to work due to the weather.

Meanwhile, to alleviate their struggles while working during weather disturbances, the department also urged employers to prove "extra incentives or benefits" to employees who reported to work.

The advisory comes as recent weather disturbances prompted the government to suspend classes and work operations to ensure the safety of the public.

On Wednesday, the state's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council ordered preparations for the potential effect of two weather systems, one of which is a super typhoon, to the country.

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