By Leslie Ann Aquino
An official of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said regular employees terminated during the temporary closure of Boracay may file a complaint against their employers.
“If they are terminated within the six months suspension of operations, the employees can run to court to allege illegal dismissal,” DOLE Undersecretary Dominador Say said in an interview.
“We are talking, in general sense, those with security of tenure, the regular employees,” he added.
Say said the law provides that suspension of operation that will not exceed six months will not result in termination.
“If they are terminated and the reason given them is the suspension of operations, that is not an allowable action,” he said.
Establishments in Boracay were earlier warned by the labor department against terminating their employees during the six-month closure of the resort island.
In an advisory, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the “temporary suspension of business operations should not and must not result in the termination or separation of any employee.”
Although the closure of Boracay as ordered by President Duterte will necessarily compel the temporary suspension of business operations, the labor chief notified employers they may only ”observe the principle of No Work, No Pay, or require the employees to go on forced leave by utilizing their leave credits, if any.”
“Employees are expected to be recalled back to work upon the lifting of the temporary closure of Boracay island,” Bello said.
The DOLE said the labor advisory issued Friday is for “strict observance and compliance.”
Last week, the labor department said it will extend assistance to affected workers in the island, including the provision of emergency employment.