Injuries, deaths under work-from-home setup now compensable

Published May 19, 2021, 4:46 PM

by Betheena Unite

Death or disability due to injuries sustained while working from home are now compensable, the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) bared.

(File photo/ Employees’ Compensation Commission)

Through Board Resolution No. 21-03-09, a policy has been created allowing for the compensability of disability or death due to injuries sustained by employees in the public and private sector while in the performance of their duties at home.

The benefits can be availed of via the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP), provided that there is a written directive from the beneficiary’s employer requiring a work-from-home arrangement or the performance of a specific task within a specified period at his or her residence.

The workers who suffered sickness, injury, or death while under a work-from-home scheme are entitled to loss of income, medical, and death and funeral benefits.

Persons with work-related disabilities may avail of the rehabilitation services under the Katulong sa Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan (KaGabay) program, which may include free physical, speech, or occupational therapy; assistive devices; and livelihood training and financial assistance.

ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said it was high time for the commission to issue such policy in light of the new and alternative work setup, which became commonplace after the emergence of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“The ECC saw the need to initiate this policy in response to the changing landscape of work and definition of workplace, propelled by the development in the telecommunications and innovations in computer technology,” Banawis said, noting that employees, who are working from home, are not exempted from possible work-connected disabilities or deaths due to injury-related incidents.

The ECC is an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).