Employers May Soon Be Penalized for Contacting Employees Outside of Work Hours

With working from home being the new normal, the lines between work and rest are becoming more and more blurred. But that may soon come to an end with a new Senate bill seeking to honor employees’ rest hours.

Senator Francis Tolentino has filed Senate Bill 2475 or the Workers’ Rest Law, a bill that will prohibit and penalize employers from contacting their employees for work-related purposes or requiring them to work during rest hours. Calamba City Rep. Joaquin Chipeco has also filed House Bill 10717 as a counterpart measure to the Workers’ Rest Law.

In the explanatory note of the bill, it is noted that because of the new normal work-from-home arrangements, workers “end up rendering work beyond the maximum hours of work provided under the law.”

If this bill is passed into law, employers will be prohibited from doing the following during rest hours (unless the employee has given the required consent):

  • requiring the employee to work;
  • requiring the employee to be on duty, to travel, or be at a prescribed place for work or work-related activities, such as attending seminars, meetings, team-building and other similar activities;
  • contacting the employee for work and work-related purposes

Employees will also not be penalized by the employer for not opening or answering communications received during rest hours.

What do you think of this new bill? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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