DOLE, DTI lead consultations on tenure rights; trade chief shares ‘win-win structure’ on labor relations
Organized by DOLE and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), led by Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, the high-level meeting exchanged views on the issues surrounding the trilateral relationship among the workers, the service providers and the principals or companies.
According to DOLE, there are 5,150 registered contractors and subcontractors deploying more than 416,000 workers to not less than 26,000 principals as of 2016.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez presented the so-called ‘win-win structure’ of labor relations involving the workers, the service providers and the companies.
In the ‘win-win’ set-up, workers can be hired by service providers as regulars, receiving full benefits such as leave credits, 13th month pay, as well as retirement, social security and health insurance plans, among others.
Companies, meanwhile, will have the flexibility to either directly hire workers as regular employees or outsource them through service providers, in view of seasonal job functions.
Subsequently, the trade secretary encouraged companies to ensure that service providers comply with laws safeguarding rights of the workers.
“What is critical now is the compliance of service providers in giving full benefits to the workers,” said Sec. Lopez, adding that the win-win structure has already received positive response from the President.
Other compelling issues discussed in the meeting focused on the system of recruitment between service providers and workers, the procedure of regularization and on probationary status, and the legitimacy of contractor and subcontractors.
The meeting also touched on the “four-fold test,” as determinant of employer-employee relationship, whose elements include the right to hire, payment of wages, power of dismissal or power to impose disciplinary actions and the power of control, which is considered as the most important of the four elements.