An automatic leave of absence may be availed by a government worker who will be called as a witness for the prosecution in an administrative or criminal case, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) said on Tuesday, Jan. 11.
Under Resolution No. 2000897, published on Dec. 10, 2021, CSC defined automatic leave of absence as a leave that government workers may avail of should they qualify as a government employee-witness. This may be availed by a government employee-witness regardless of his or her status and length of service.
CSC said that to be qualified to avail of the said leave, the government employee must be identified and called as a witness for the prosecution in a pending administrative or criminal case, and the government employee as an identified witness is at the risk of being harassed and/or his/her life or limb may be put in danger.
“The government employee should also notify the head of his or her agency of his or her intent to avail of the automatic leave of absence, and execute an affidavit of his or her testimony relevant to the pending case,” CSC said.
“The notice should bear the recommendation of either the prosecution or the hearing officer of the pending administrative case, and either the prosecution or the handling judge in the pending criminal case. Proof that the government employee has been identified as a witness should also be attached to the notice,” it added.
When the said conditions are met, the automatic leave of absence will be deemed automatically approved by the head of agency.
For the duration of the automatic leave, CSC said that it will commence from the time the government employee qualified as a witness and submitted his or her notice. This will be terminated once he or she has completed his or her duty as a witness, or at any time before the completion of his or her witness duty when the danger on his or her life and limb has already ceased to exist, as determined by the prosecution, hearing officer, or the judge.
The automatic leave of absence may also be terminated at any time upon the request of the government employee-witness, CSC added.
“The CSC continues to craft HR policies that take care of the welfare of government employees in different situations, especially when there is threat to life and safety. Providing a way for government employees to serve as witnesses without incurring unnecessary absences may also further aid the judicial process,” CSC stated.