DOLE order guarantees wages, welfare of private health workers

DOLE issued an order which guarantees wages, benefits for nurses and other health workers in private establishments.

MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has issued new guidelines prescribing the payment of appropriate wages for healthcare personnel.

In Department Order No. 182, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the government is also bent on guaranteeing the safety and health concerns of healthcare workers in the private sector that undermine their well-being and affect their efficiency in the performance of their job.

With the order, healthcare workers are guaranteed to receive wages for all actual work hours and days that are not lower than the applicable minimum wages rate. It says wages must be paid at least once every two weeks or twice a month at intervals not exceeding 16 days.

Health personnel must also receive a holiday pay (for 12 identified regular holidays pursuant to Republic Act No. 9849) or 100 percent of the minimum wage even if they did not report for work. If they are required to work on the said holiday, they must be paid 200 percent of minimum wage.

They are also entitled to a premium pay, or 30% of their basic wage, if they work on special days.

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They are to receive as well night pay of an additional 10 percent of the basic wage for work done from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am the following day.

Likewise, they are entitled to all other benefits as provided under existing labor laws and regulations including paid service incentive of five days for every year of service; 13-month pay; maternity and paternity leave; parental leave for solo parents; special leave; separation pay; and retirement pay.

Heath personnel in cities and municipalities with a population of at least 1 million or in hospitals with bed capacity of at least 100 shall hold regular work hours of eight hours a day and for five days a week.

If the personnel worked for six days, they shall be entitled to an additional compensation of at least 30 percent of the regular wage for the sixth day.

The order provides that no deduction shall be made from the salary of health personnel except for SSS, Pag-IBIG, and PhilHealth contributions; withholding tax, and union dues.

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In addition, all healthcare institutions are required to provide appropriate personal protective equipment at no cost to their employees, student-trainees or interns, and apprentices pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS).

The order was issued on September 22, 2017 and shall take effect 15 days after its publication. [via DOLE]

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