Update 2.8.2020: DOH Issues Memorandum to Help Companies Respond to the Threat of COVID-19
- Department of Tourism (DOT) Issued Guidelines to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
- Land Transportation Franchise and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) requires drivers to wear protective masks
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Advisory #04 s. 2020 to detail employers’ responsibility on the prevention and control of COVID-19
Here are the salient points (with my thoughts in red) of this advisory:
All private companies operating in the Philippines
Employers Responsibility on Workplace Health and Safety
- Education of employees about 2019-nCov ARD (to mitigate the effect of fake news and growing discrimination against Chinese)
- All workplaces are properly cleaned and disinfected
- Availability of soaps and sanitizers in washrooms and toilet
- Reduce if it cannot be avoided, exposure of employees to animals, environment or objects that maybe carrying the virus
- Ensure compliance of canteen operators to health standards and food preparations.
- Health and cleanliness campaign to emphasize ethical behavior to avoid contamination and maintain a healthy workplace (pls note specific activities discussed on item II.5 of the advisory)
- Give special attention to employees who traveled or worked in countries/areas affected by the virus
Employers Responsibility When Workplace is in Imminent Danger Situation
- Take immediate protective measures to avoid, protect or remove the ‘imminent danger situations.
- Adopt the screening program of DOH relative to the detection of potential infected individuals. Below is a copy of DOH checklist
- Education and compliance to proper use of Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) such as N95 masks.
Please note that advisory is silent if employers are required to provide PPEs. The likely reason, IMO, is because these companies are already providing PPEs because of the nature of their industry. Example are industries in healthcare and construction. However, because of the likely transmission of 2019-nCoV ARD, those in the hospitality and tourism, airports, seaports and transportation industries can also be classified as workplace that can face imminent danger situations, thus, PPEs should be provided.
Employers Responsibility When Employee is Suspected to have the Coronavirus
- Provide the employee with mask to prevent spread of the virus
- Isolate the employee immediately and place in an area that is well ventilated
- Refer the employee to a healthcare provider or the nearest health center or hospital for evaluation
- Report the worker to DOH hotline (8-711-1001 to 1002)
- Ensure compliance to DOH/WHO guidelines on the the handling and transport of individuals suspected of 2019-nCov ARD infection
- Decontaminate the workplace using chlorine bleaching solution and 1:100 phenol based disinfectant
- Observe respiratory precaution
When an employee falls sick or shows symptoms on novel coronavirus, employers are required to provide PPEs to both the sick employees and employees attending to them
Employers Responsibility When Employee is Sick but do not have 2019-nCov ARD
Advise employee to stay home, and take prudent measures for immediate recovery and to prevent the spread of the disease (Please refer to item II-B for details)
Treatment on the Leave of Absences
- Charge to SL/SIL/Vl (this applies to both employees who are suspected carriers, or whose family members are suspected carriers and employee would want to attend to them, or when employee voluntarily submitted to self quarantine)
- If paid leaves are consumed, employers are ‘encouraged’ to be generous. Otherwise, no work no pay applies
- Other flexible arrangements, such as ‘work from home’, are also being encouraged by DOLE
Philhealth, SSS and EC Benefits
- Philhealth can cover part of the hospitalization expenses
- Employee can also avail SSS Sickness and EC Benefits
- If employee cannot avail of the SSS, EC and Philhealth assistance because of employers fault, employer shall shoulder the full cost of hospitalization and medical cost until full recovery.
The Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC), the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) and DOLE Regional Offices (DOLE-ROs) in collaboration with Department of Health (DOH) shall issue substantive information and advisories related to GLS and OSHS, technical assistance on risk assessments and use of protective equipments and capability building of focal persons
You can download a copy of this advisory at DOLE website.
How is your company complying to this advisory? Let us know in the comment section!
Founder of LODI Inc. (Learning and Organization Development Institute, Inc.) and Co-Founder of Blogwatch. Mentor and Dad of 2 Gen Z Professionals.
Advocate of #HRinHR (Human Rights in Human Resources) and #DigitalCitizenship
Strategist for Talent, Culture & Content Development, and Cyber Wellness Initiatives
Keynoter and Facilitator of Workplace and Life Learning
Blogging since 2004.