DOLE reports 45 companies'
voluntary 'endo' compliance
TAGBILARAN CITY, June 1, (PIA)--Around 45 companies each getting two or more third party labor subcontracting parties in Region 7 have opted to "regularize" their contracted workers, encouraged by President Rodrigo Duterte's call to end the illegitimate contracting schemes by employers.
This amounts to 3,555 workers, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 7 Labor Relations Standards Technical Services and Support Division Chief Engr. Vicente Abordo reports.
President's Duterte once promised to cut the "end of contract" (endo) scheme into half this year and totally by 2018, Abordo said, and the voluntary regularization by Region 7 employers they accomplished after encouraging establishments to comply with the applicable provisions of law.
This is just the beginning, Engr Abordo, who spoke at the Ugnayan: Dialog of Progress held at the Bondad Hall of the Central Command camp of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Barangay Apas in Cebu.
"And the DOLE has not even started the legal action to bring perpetrators to courts here," he added.
Endo is a popular scheme private employers adopt to keep from hiring regular employees to circumvent the law and use low paying contracts instead, DOLE explained.
While regular employees get to enjoy the benefits like sick leaves, 13th month pay and other perks and privileges, employers avoid this by hiring workers for five months.
This means they end their workers contracts before they could render the full 6 month term which by law, should force employers to regularize these workers.
The Philippine law mandates that workers rendering uninterrupted six months of work for a company, allows them to be regularized.
Also, employers hire workers through "labor-only-contracting," schemes, Abordo said.
But, to get around these provisions, private sector employers also use yet another scheme; continuous probationary employment, which, like endo, is again illegal.
The Labor Code states that probationary employment and apprenticeship agreement shall not exceed six months starting with the date the employee started working.
Probationary workers are bound by provisions and tend to be easy to get terminated for a just cause, DOLE sources said.
When a probationary employee fails to qualify as a regular employee in accordance with reasonable standards made known by the employer at the time of his engagement, ending the agreement and terminating the worker becomes easier, DOLE said.
Most of those contracted workers are minimum wage earners, thus further aggravating the labor situation of the country.
By labor only contracting, employers enter into tri-lateral agreement with agencies that provide services to evade from worker-employer direct relationships.
This frees employers from giving employer-employee benefits like health, social security and several other employment perks and packages.
DOLE however clarifies that there are legitimate services contracting agencies, but those who use workers to render directly related services to the company are equally guilty of circumvention of the law.
Engr Abordo explained that a manufacturing company who hires workers from another agency to run its key manufacturing operations have just contracted for directly related services, and are thus liable to regularize the worker after 6 months of service.
He also pointed out that there are legitimate subcontractors who comply with labor laws and are registered with the DOLE under the requirements, terms, and conditions of DO 18-A, DOLE said.
Security and janitorial agencies are legitimately contracted services if they provide functions not necessary for the operations of the employer's business. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
DOLE Labor Relations Chief Engr Vicente Abordo picks a certificate of appreciation from the PIA for sharing his time in reporting the latest reports in the region’s efforts to comply with the Presidential directive on the “endo” during the Ugnayan dialogs in Cebu. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)