PRESSED by the workers, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) repealed its advisory allowing the temporary adjustment of employees' wages and wage-related benefits in a bid to help prevent further job losses amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.

In its Labor Advisory No. 17-B-2020, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III opted to amend the provision allowing the temporary adjustment of salaries and benefits as agreed upon by employers and employees.

"Transfer, assignment job rotation, reduction of workdays, partial closure, and other work arrangements, including adjustment of wage and wage-related benefits of the employees, shall be governed by existing laws, rules and regulations, jurisprudence, and collective bargaining agreement, if any," said Bello.

"This Labor Advisory supersedes Labor Advisory No. 17, Series of 2020," he added.

Back in May, DOLE issued Labor Advisory No. 17-2020, which provides that "employers and employees may agree, voluntarily and in writing, to temporarily adjust employees' wage and wage-related benefits as provided for in existing employment contract, company policy, or collective bargaining agreement (CBA)".

DOLE had said that the adjustment of wages and salaries is one way to preserve employment as businesses work their way back to normal operations after several months of undergoing community lockdowns.

The said policy immediately gained strong dissent from the labor sector saying it is contrary to existing laws and jurisprudence, and is highly disadvantageous to workers.

Workers' groups said there are many unscrupulous employers, who threaten workers with dismissal or company closure if they don’t “voluntarily” agree to roll back their wages and other wage-related benefits.

Sought for its reaction, the Nagkaisa Labor Coalition (Nagkaisa) urged employees to closely monitor the implementation of the said policy amendment. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)