The proposed Freelance Workers Protection Act is poised for third and final reading passage next week in the House of Representatives.
This, after the lower chamber approved the measure, embodied in House Bill (HB) No.6718, on second reading during plenary session Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 1.
The bill's full title reads, "An Act providing protection and incentives to freelance workers". It gained traction in the chamber at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
House members passed the bill on second reading via voice vote, or a simple "ayes" vs. "nayes" vote in the plenary.
But for a bill to be passed on third reading, it must gain affirmative votes from over half of the 311-strong House via nominal voting. The vote is expected to be carried out during next week's plenary session.
The House holds plenary sessions from Monday to Wednesday--same as the Senate.
HB No.6718 seeks to protect and promote the welfare of freelance workers by requiring a written contract between the employer and the freelance worker.
The contract would state the conditions of employment, details of compensation and benefits, employment period, grounds for breach of contract, and other conditions that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) may set forth.
The bill also mandates night shift differential and hazard pay for freelance workers, and penalize certain unlawful practices with a fine ranging from P50,000 to P500,000.
Freelance workers will be mandated to register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and will be given tax relief granted under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act.