Working Hours Policy in the Philippines

PUBLISHED ON: April 8, 2021
LAST UPDATED ON: May 1, 2021

Working Hours Policy in the Philippines is provided by the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code of the Philippines.

The Department of Labor and Employment is mandated with the administration and enforcement policy for working hours and other provision stated in Presidential Decree No. 442 of 1974, also known as the Labor Code of the Philippines

Defining Working Hours

What is the definition of "Working Hours" in the Philippines?

Working Hours is defined in Article 84, Chapter I, Title I, Book Three of the Labor Code of the Philippines states the following:

Hours worked shall include (a) all time during which an employee is required to be on duty or to be at a prescribed workplace; and (b) all time during which an employee is suffered or permitted to work. Rest periods of short duration during working hours shall be counted as hours worked. [xxx]

The above definition has also been reiterated in Section 3, Rule I, Book Three of the Implementing Rules and Regulation of the Labor Code of the Philippines.

What is the normal working of an employee?

As stated in Article 83, Chapter I, Title I, Book Three of the Labor Code of the Philippines, an employee shall be working hours that shall not exceed eight (8) hours a day.

Who are covered by the working hours?

As stated in Section 1 and 2, Rule I, Book Three of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code of the Philippines, all employees in all companies, whether for profit or not, are covered by the working hours set in the rule, except for the following specified persons:

  • (a) Government employees whether employed by the National Government or any of its political subdivision, including those employed in government-owned and/or controlled corporations;
  • (b) Managerial employees, if they meet all of the following conditions:
    • (1) Their primary duty consists of the management of the establishment in which they are employed or of a department or sub-division thereof.
    • (2) They customarily and regularly direct the work of two or more employees therein.
    • (3) They have the authority to hire or fire employees of lower rank; or their suggestions and recommendations as to hiring and firing and as to the promotion or any other change of status of other employees, are given particular weight.
  • (c) Officers or members of a managerial staff if they perform the following duties and responsibilities:
    • (1) The primary duty consists of the performance of work directly related to management policies of their employer;
    • (2) Customarily and regularly exercise discretion and independent judgment; and
    • (3) Duties of the following
      • (i) Regularly and directly assist a proprietor or a managerial employee whose primary duty consists of the management of the establishment in which he is employed or subdivision thereof; or
      • (ii) execute under general supervision work along specialized or technical lines requiring special training, experience, or knowledge; or
      • (iii) execute, under general supervision, special assignments and tasks; and
    • (4) Who do not devote more than 20 percent of their hours worked in a work week to activities which are not directly and closely related to the performance of the work described in paragraphs (1), (2) and (3) above.
  • (d) Domestic servants and persons in the personal service of another if they perform such services in the employer's home which are usually necessary or desirable for the maintenance and enjoyment thereof, or minister to the personal comfort, convenience, or safety of the employer as well as the members of his employer's household.
  • (e) Workers who are paid by results, including those who are paid on piece-work, "takay," "pakiao" or task basis, and other non-time work if their output rates are in accordance with the standards prescribed under Section 8, Rule VII, Book Three of these regulations, or where such rates have been fixed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment in accordance with the aforesaid Section.
  • (f) Non-agricultural field personnel if they regularly perform their duties away from the principal or branch office or place of business of the employer and whose actual hours of work in the field cannot be determined with reasonable certainty.

What is considered Working time?

What is the criteria for determining if the person is considered working?

Section 4, Rule I, Book Three of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code of the Philippines provides general principles for determining hours that are compensable which are the following

All hours agreed upon between the employer and employee

Section 4 (a) of the abovementioned rule states that all hours that are agreed upon between the employer and employee is considered as compensable. Regardless whether or not the employee has been productive at all hours.

This, of course, should not be construed or interpreted as the an employee's right to slack off in their work.

Working beyond the normal Working Hours is considered as working time

Section 4 (c) of the abovementioned rule states that an employee that continued to work beyond the normal working hours should be compensated. Provided that, the work was necessary or a replacement has not arrived yet and that such work beyond the normal hours has approved from their supervisory or manager.

This provision provides support that Overtime work is compensable. In addition, a provision has been included that work performed beyond the normal working hours shall have approval from their supervisor or manager.

Interruptions that are beyond employees' control are considered working hours

Section 4 (d) of the abovementioned rule states all incidents or interruptions beyond an employees' control that hinders them enough that no work is produced is considered working time. Provided that, the employee is needed to continue to work once the concern has been fixed or the period of interruption is too brief to be used for the employee's own interest.

Is Waiting Time considered Working Hours?

Waiting Time is considered as working time if it is necessity for their work.

An example of this is when an employee is need to wait for their work to continue or when no customers are present at the moment.

On-Call Employees

Section 5 (a) and (b), Rule I, Book Three of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code of the Philippines provides conditions when an employee can be compensated during a period when they are on-call:

On-call period as Working Hours

The period of time or hours that is considered as working hours, and therefore compensable, is when an employee is required to be on-call inside or near the workplace and such period cannot be effectively used for their own purpose.

On-call period that is not considered as Working Hours

The Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code of the Philippines also provides the condition when an employee is on-call but such period cannot be considered as working time.

This period is when the employee is required to provide information to the employers where they could not be contacted but they are still on-call.

Although this provision may already be outdated or obsolete due to the widespread usage of mobile phones and the internet.

It is recommended to have an agreement to the employer if the period when an employee may be contacted can be considered as working hours.

Lectures, Meetings, and Training Programs as Working Hours

When can a Lecture, Meeting or Training be considered as working hours?

As stated in Section 6, Rule I, Book Three of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code, attendance to Lectures, Meetings, and Training programs are considered compensable if they are within the agreed upon working hours.

Lectures, Meetings and Training programs are not compensable if meet all of the following criteria:

  • Attendance is outside of the employee's regular working hours;
  • Attendance is in fact voluntary; and
  • The employee does not perform any productive work during such attendance.

This is often the concern of employees if they should be compensated for attendance for lectures, meetings, and training programs that are scheduled on weekends or on rest days.

If such training is a part of the promotion criteria of the employer, the Lecture or Training / Seminar should be considered as working hours.

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