By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Labor department has asked employers in the private sector to uphold the rights of the Filipino workers to security of tenure as well as help the government in curbing illegal forms of contractualization or ‘endo.’
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said this lamenting how some employers take advantage of the word ‘probationary employees’.
“They hire workers who are supposed to undergo the six-month probationary status. However, the workers are terminated before the end of the said period. That is what we call ‘endo.’” he said during a luncheon meeting with the officers and members of the European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ECCP) in Makati City.
To note, the Security of Tenure (SOT) bill is one of DOLE’s priority legislative measures that has been certified as urgent by the President. It aims to amend the Labor Code on the prohibition of labor-only contracting and other provisions that allow contracting arrangements.
As examples, Bello said waiters working for a hotel and sales ladies in malls should be deemed regular employees and not be outsourced by the principal because the nature of their job is directly related to the business of the establishment.
“You cannot operate a hotel without waiters, and without salesgirls, you cannot sell merchandise in malls. Likewise, they should be regular employees. That is the essence of the SOT bill,” he said.
Bello also explained that there are different categories for work employment indicated in the bill, which are regular, probationary, project-based, and seasonal workers.
“For instance, during Christmas or enrolment season, customers go to the mall to buy notebooks and educational supplies, so you need to beef up your sales staff who will attend to a large number of customers. You can hire them from legitimate service providers and they are called ‘seasonal workers’ and by law, this is allowed,” the labor chief said.
Bello remains optimistic that President Rodrigo Duterte will sign the SOT bill.