Lawmaker says DOLE to require paid isolation, quarantine leave for workers

from January 11, 2022 01:00 am to January 11, 2022 01:00 am

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 11) - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will soon issue a policy mandating employers to give their workers paid time off if they have to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19, according to Rep. Raymond Mendoza of Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) Party-list.

Mendoza, who's also TUCP president, said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III "made the commitment" in a virtual meeting on Tuesday.

In a statement, the TUCP said it requested a dialogue with the department to push for the leave benefits amid mounting coronavirus cases among workers nationwide. It added that the policy is expected to be issued this week.

CNN Philippines has contacted DOLE for confirmation.

Once the directive is in effect, the labor group said "All employees who have to undergo isolation and quarantine for several days, and (are) not yet confined to a hospital but have exhausted all his/her company-offered leave benefits, will continue to receive their wages from their employer."

Based on Department of Health (DOH) guidelines, those who test positive for COVID-19 would have to undergo a ten-day isolation to reduce the risk of transmission. Patients with severe or critical infection would have to isolate for 21 days.

Meanwhile, close contacts of an infected person should quarantine for seven days if they're fully vaccinated, or 14 days if they are partially or not yet vaccinated.

More than three million Filipinos have now been confirmed hit with the viral illness after the DOH reported 28,007 new infections on Tuesday. Active cases - which were at less than 30,000 a week ago - are now at over 181,000.