Pursuant to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Labor Advisory No.4, series of 2020, the following are the important guidelines on the COVID-19:
A.) Aa a precautionary measure at the workplace, all employers are directed to:
- Provide information about the COVID-19;
- Clean work areas with disinfectant and make sure that water, soap and sanitizer are available in washrooms/toilets;
- Avoid or reduce direct exposure of workers to animals, environments and objects possibly carrying the virus;
- Ensure that food in canteens are properly prepared, handles and cooked;
- Emphasize to all workers to stay health and keep workplace clean;
- Monitor the health of workers particularly those with fever and other flu symptoms and those who have traveled to other countries affected with COVID-19.
B.) The following are considered as WORKPLACE WITH IMMINENT DANGER SITUATIONS:
- Recent travel to China or to a country or place on the WHO list with local transmission or outbreak of COVID-19;
- Recent contact with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 person;
- Having symptoms such as fever greater than 38 degrees Celsius and flu-like symptoms such as couch, difficulty of breathing or shortness of breath.
C.) Guidance for employers for care of workers who are sick or with fever:
- Provide the worker with a face mask to prevent risk of spreading the infection:
- Isolate the worker IMMEDIATELY in a separate well-ventilated room in the workplace, away from the other workers;
- Refer the worker to the company healthcare provider, nearest health center or hospital for laboratory confirmation of COVID-19;
- Report the worker to the Department of Health at telephone numbers 8-711-1001 and 8-711-1002.
- Observe respiratory precautions when taking care of patients with flu or flu-like illness; and
- Decontaminate the work area with appropriate disinfectants.
D.) If a worker is sick with flu or fever but not COVID-19, the employer must advise worker to:
- Stay home and keep away from work or crowds;
- Take adequate rest and drink plenty of water;
- Always clean hands and practice personal hygiene;
- Seek medical care if fever or illness continues.
E.) Leave of Absence
For workers who are requested by their employers to stay at home or who are serving quarantine order for reasons related to COVID-19, the following arrangements may be considered during the period of absence:
- Worker’s leave of absence may be charged to their annual sick/vacation leave credits. If the leave credits are already used up, employers are may grant leave of absence without pay. However, ECOP fully supports DOLE that employers are highly encouraged to exercise flexibility and compassion in granting additional leaves with pay.
- By mutual agreement, employers and workers could also agree on other arrangements for the worker’s leave of absence.
Employers are also encouraged to adopt a flexible and enlightened approach in granting time-off which may include the use of leave credits, if there is any. For workers who have used up their leave credits, employers could consider granting them leave of absence without pay.