The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Employment Compensation Commission (ECC) recently issued two separate guidelines (collectively, the “Issuances”) in connection with COVID-19. The Issuances provide guidance to covered employers and employees regarding the promotion of COVID-19 vaccination in the private sector as well as the classification of COVID-19 as an occupational and work-related disease.
On 03 March 2021, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Department Order No. 224, Series of 2021, or the Guidelines on Ventilation for Workplaces and Public Transport to Prevent and Control the Spread of COVID-19 (“Guidelines”).
As part of the government’s continuing efforts and in cognizance of the poorly ventilated spaces in many workplaces, the Guidelines emphasize the immediate necessity to strictly enforce proper and adequate ventilation inside the workplace as a preventive measure against the further spread of COVID-19.
Considering the obligation of employers to ensure a safe working environment by taking on reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of their employees, and in light of the present ambiguity of our labor laws in relation to vaccination policies for employees, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Advisory No. 03, Series of 2021, or the Guidelines on the Administration of COVID-19 Vaccines in the Workplaces” (“Guidelines”) on 12 March 2021.
As COVID-19 vaccines become available, the Guidelines specifically deal with the applicable rules governing any vaccination policy, which may be implemented by employers and covered establishments in the workplace.