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DOLE pushes for paid isolation, quarantine leaves for workers

By AYIE LICSI Published Jan 17, 2022 5:37 pm

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is urging private employers to provide paid leaves for workers who have to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.

According to Labor Advisory No. 1, released on Jan. 17, this leave program will be different from the existing leave benefits under the company policy.

"Employers are urged, in consultation with the employees or employees' representative if any, to adopt and implement an appropriate paid isolation and quarantine leave program on top of existing leave benefits under the company policy, Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Labor Code of the Philippines, and special laws," it said.

DOLE is also requiring employees who are close contacts or are suspect, probable, or confirmed COVID-19 cases to isolate or quarantine at home or in a facility to curb the spread of the virus.

"The paid isolation and quarantine leaves shall be without prejudice to other benefits provided by the Social Security System and the Employees Compensation Commission," the advisory read.

New isolation and quarantine protocols

On Jan. 14, the Department of Health released an updated guideline on isolation, quarantine, and testing for fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, and unvaccinated individuals.

This new protocol shortens the isolation period of those showing symptoms (including mild cases) to seven days instead of 10 for those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the quarantine period has been shortened from seven to five days for the immunized.

The number of coronavirus cases in the country continues to rise—37,070 new infections were logged on Monday.