Security of tenure bill gets final House nod

MANILA, Dec 2 (Mabuhay) — The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third reading a measure strengthening the security of tenure of workers in the private sector.

With 204 affirmative votes, seven negative votes, and three abstentions, the chamber passed on final reading the proposed “Security of Tenure Act”, which seeks to amend Presidential Decree No. 442 as amended, also known as the “Labor Code of the Philippines”.

The proposed law expressly prohibits “labor-only” contracting

The bill defines the existence of labor-only contracting when: 1) the contractor does not have substantial capital or investment in the form of tools, equipment, machineries, and work premises, among others; 2) contractor has no control over the workers’ method and means of accomplishing their work; and, 3) the workers recruited and placed are performing activities which are directly related and necessary to the principal business of such employer.

It shall require all persons or entities doing business as job contractors to obtain a license from the Department of Labor and Employment, including compliance with the listing requirements for such licensing, determining the period of validity of the license, and stating the responsibility of the licensee to submit an annual report.

It also provides that the rights and benefits of relievers, and project and seasonal employees are at par with regular employees consistent with the principle that all workers must be treated alike both as to right enjoyed and obligations assumed.

It proposes administrative penalties of a fine and possible closure of business for those engaging in prohibited end-of-contract arrangements and labor-only contracting. (MNS)

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