What You Need to Know About Telecommuting

Telecommuting / Work From Home FAQ (v2022-1)

Work From Home” (WFH) arrangements have become popular during the pandemic. Moving forward, is there an existing legal framework for WFH? Can I allow my employees to continue working from home?

Yes.  Even before the pandemic, a law on telecommuting was passed (Telecommuting Act of 2018).  You may continue work from home arrangements even after the pandemic but, the law has certain protections for the employees and for data privacy.

What are some of these protections?

In general, the law requires the employer to give the same treatment and benefits under a telecommuting setup vis-à-vis ‘comparable employees’ that work in the office. These include:

  1. Rate of pay, overtime, night shift differential, and other monetary benefits;
  2. Rest periods, regular holidays and special non working holidays;
  3. Workload and performance standards;
  4. Access to training and career development;
  5. Appropriate training for telecommuting;

So, I’m not allowed to give a lower salary to telecommuting employees, even if they agree to it?

Yes. You are required to give the same salary. Telecommuting should not be a reason to give less pay to an employee.  However, note that the employer may save on other costs related to the space that telecommuting employees would have if they were in the office (rent, electricity, parking, etc.).

Can I require my employees to take telecommuting or WFH arrangement?

No. Under Telecommuting Act of 2018, the telecommuting arrangement is purely voluntary.