Compressed Workweek (CWW) Policy Part 1 of 2

Compressed Workweek (CWW) Policy Part 1 of 2

Compressed Workweek (CWW) is one of the ways for the company to save on resources and for employees to reduce time of commuting, etc. without losing efficiency.

The post below is based on the book How to Design and Formulate Company Code of Discipline (41-46) by Atty. Villanueva.

Under the Labor Code, establishments can require work from Monday to Saturday at eight-hour work per day. However, thcompany code of disciplinee labor and management may agree to compress the work days in a week from six days to five thereby eliminating the Saturday work.

The effect is an increased work hours from Monday to Friday where such excess hours are not compensable under overtime rules. This is known as the compressed workweek scheme.

The DOLE normally does not interpose any objection to this kind of scheme provided the following conditions are met:

1. The employees voluntarily agree to work at longer hours from Monday to Friday;

2. There should be no diminution in the takehome pay and fringe benefits of the employees;

3. The value of the benefits that will accrue to the employees under the proposed work schedule is more than or, at least, commensurate with, or equal to, the one-hour overtime pay that is due them during weekdays based on the employee’s qualification;

4. The one-hour overtime pay of the employee will become due and demandable if ever they are permitted or made to work on any Saturday during the effectivity of the new working time arrangement, since the agreement between the employees and the management is that there will be no Saturday work in exchange for a longer work day during week-days;

5. The work of the employees does not involve strenuous physical exertion and they are provided with adequate rest periods or coffee breaks in the morning and afternoon; and

6. The effectivity of the proposed working time arrangement should be of temporary duration as determined by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

Under the Department Order implementing CWW (D.O. No. 02, Series of 2004) PURPOSE AND COVERAGE OF CWW The DOLE issued Department Order No. 02, Series of 2004 to guide employers and workers who may opt to adopt a mutually acceptable compressed workweek (CWW) scheme suitable to the requirements of the firm.

It was intended to apply to all establishments except those in the following:

1. Construction industry, _______________

2. Health services,

3. Occupations requiring heavy manual labor, or

4. Occupations or workplaces in which workers are exposed to airborne contaminants, human carcinogens, substances, chemicals or noise that exceed threshold limit values or tolerance levels for an eight-hour workday as prescribed under existing Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS).

As a matter of policy, and taking into account the emergence of new technology and the continuing restructuring and modernization of the work process, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) encourages employers and workers to enter into voluntary agreements adopting CWW schemes based on the following objectives:

1. To promote business competitiveness and productivity, improve efficiency by lower operating costs, and reduce work-related expenses of employees;

2. To give employers and workers flexibility in fixing hours of work compatible with business requirements and the employees’ need for a balanced work life; and

3. To ensure the safety and health of employees at the workplace at all times. DOLE shall recognize only those CWW schemes that have been entered into consistent with the DOLE Advisory.

The Labor Code provides that the normal work hours per day shall be eight hours. Work may be performed beyond eight hours a day provided the employee is paid for the overtime work. On the other hand, the normal number of workdays per week shall be six days, or a total of fortyeight (48) hours based on the normal workday of eight hours.

This is without prejudice to firms whose normal workweek is five days, or a total of forty (40) hours based on the normal workday of eight hours.

For purposes of the DOLE Advisory on CWW, the scheme is an alternative arrangement whereby the normal workweek is reduced to less than six days but the total number of normal work hours per week shall remain at 48 hours.

The normal workday is increased to more than eight hours without corresponding overtime premium. This concept can be adjusted accordingly in cases where the normal workweek of the firm is five days.

CWW GUIDELINES DOLE shall recognize CWW schemes adopted in accordance with the following:

1. The CWW scheme is undertaken as a result of an express and voluntary agreement of majority of the covered employees or their duly authorized representatives. This agreement may be expressed through collective bargaining or other legitimate workplace mechanisms of participation such as labor-management councils, employee assemblies or referanda.

2. In firms using substances, chemicals and processes or operating under conditions where there are airborne contaminants, human carcinogens or noise prolonged exposure to which may pose hazards to the employees’ health and safety, there must be a certification from an accredited health and safety organization or practitioner or from the firm’s safety committee that work beyond eight hours is within threshold limits or tolerable levels of exposure, as set in the OSHS.

3. The employer shall notify DOLE, through the Regional Office having jurisdiction over the workplace, of the adoption of the CWW scheme. The notice shall be in DOLE CWW Report Form attached to the DOLE Advisory.

In the next post, the effects of compliant CWW and administration of the scheme will be discussed.

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