Seat provision for female employees and workers, pushed

Jul 9, 2017

Aiming to provide better working conditions for female employees and workers in various establishments around the locality City Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr. has filed a proposed legislative measure seeking to require business establishments here in the City of Baguio to provide seats for their female employees/workers.

In the proposed regulation councilor Yangot explained that the 1987 Philippine constitution expressly mandates for the protection of women in the workplace by providing safe and healthy working conditions, taking into account their maternal functions, and such facilities and opportunities that will enhance their welfare and enable them to realize their full potential in the service of the nation. The Labor Code of the country also provides for certain amenities and privileges for women workers and in Article 132 of the said law states that, “The Secretary of Labor and Employment shall establish standards that will ensure the safety and health of women employees. In appropriate cases, he shall, by regulations, require any employer to: (a) Provide seats proper for women and permit them to use such seats when they are free from work and during working hours, provided they can perform their duties in this position without detriment to efficiency; (b) To establish separate toilet rooms and lavatories for men and women and provide at least a dressing room for women; (c) To establish a nursery in a workplace for the benefit of the women employees therein; and (d) To determine appropriate minimum age and other standards for retirement or termination in special occupations such as those of flight attendants and the like.”

Under the said proposed ordinance particularly in the implementing guidelines, the employer shall provide seats for their female employees while on duty or during prescribed working hours, and while in the performance of their work, provided that the same shall not affect, and will not compromise the worker’s efficiency in doing or complying with their duties. The proposed regulatory measure also provides that for every five (5) female employees one (1) chair shall be provided by the business establishment concerned and in case where the number of female employees or workers is below five (5) then the establishment shall still provide one (1) chair.

The said proposed ordinance likewise prohibits certain acts by the employer against female employees or workers particularly in Section 4 thereof which states: (1) The employer shall not deprive their female workers to take a seat and be seat at a reasonable time in the performance of their work, provided that, the same shall not compromise the employers’ interest to provide efficient and quality service to their clients or customers; and (2) the employer shall not reprimand, suspend or discharge its employees, whether male or female, for having testified, or prevent any of its employees from testifying, on the complaint filed by any female employee or worker against the employer for any violation of the provisions of the proposed measure.

In case of violations of the provisions of the said proposed regulatory measure the employer upon conviction shall be penalized with a fine of not less than one thousand pesos nor more than five thousand pesos or imprisonment of not less than one month or more than six months, or both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.

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