SC sets 4-day workweek; courts open 10 hours daily

All courts nationwide will be open 10 hours daily from Monday to Friday starting Tuesday, December 1, with the implementation by the Supreme Court (SC) of a four-day workweek for all court officials and employees.

With the four-day workweek, 80 per cent of all court personnel will report for work Mondays to Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and the remaining 20 per cent will take a one-day leave.

The one-day leave during weekdays will be implemented alternately among court officials and employees so that each of them would be able to render the required 40 hours of work weekly.

The traditional practice of flexible time and overtime work for employees has been cancelled starting December 1.

In a circular issued last November 24, Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta said the adoption of the four-day workweek is in line with the directive issued by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) last October 15 for implementation during the period of health emergency due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the start of COVID-19, Chief Justice Peralta has issued various circulars to assure that all courts are functioning. Among these are the adoption of video conferencing for hearings on civil and criminal cases, on line filing of petitions and other pleadings, and maintenance of skeleton staff in all courts.

Under the SC’s circular on four-day workweek, the heads of the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, and Court of Tax Appeals – appellate courts – and all trial courts had been required to submit their guidelines for the implementation.