Unions urge ECC to provide compensation to employees infected by virus in work places

Published April 20, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Leslie Ann Aquino

The Associated Labor Unions (ALU), the country’s biggest group of unions, has called on the Employment Compensation Commission (ECC) to include in their work-related compensation programs and services the hospitalization and death benefits insurance to government and private employees who might be exposed to COVID-19 inside work establishments and while performing job function.


In a statement, ALU National Executive Vice President Gerard Seno said a COVID-19 employment insurance coverage is important because of the great danger and hazard it poses to returning employees once the Enhanced Community Quarantine is lifted.

“We urge the ECC board to immediately issue a resolution providing insurance coverage for employees in private and government sectors as safety net for workers who might be infected or exposed to the COVID-19 hazard risk on the way or from work and or have been exposed inside the work establishments,” he said.

The labor federation said the insurance coverage must be in force as soon as the community quarantine is lifted and employees are allowed to return to their places of work.

“It is important for ECC to classify COVID-19 as a ‘dreaded disease’ so that formal government and private sector employees who will return to work following once the enhanced community quarantine lockdown order is lifted on April 30 are protected,” said Seno.

The ECC is a quasi-judicial corporate entity attached to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) created to implement the Employees’ Compensation Program by providing package of benefits for public and private sector employees and their dependents in the event of work-connected contingencies such as sickness, injury, disability or death.

It is tasked by law to develop and implement effective occupational safety and health policies and programs for the promotion of a healthy working population and provide workers and their dependents with benefits and rehabilitation services in the event of work-connected accident, injury, illness and death using a part of the fund from monthly remittance collected by the Social Security System (SSS).

ALU and other labor groups are currently helping the DOLE draft a COVID-19 occupational safety and health (OSH) guidelines which would serve as the standard protocols for employers and employees in preventing, controlling and managing COVID-19 in workplaces once employees are allowed to go back to work.#