Guidelines for Alternative Work Arrangements and Support Mechanisms for Workers in the Government

CSC Memorandum Circular No. 10, s. 2020: Revised Interim Guidelines for Alternative Work Arrangements and Support Mechanisms for Workers in the Government During the Period of State of National Emergency Due to COVID-19 Pandemic.

Pursuant to CSC Resolution No. 2000540 promulgated on May 7, 2020, the Commission adopted the following Revised Interim Guidelines for Alternative Work Arrangements and Support Mechanisms for Workers in the Government During the Period of State of National Emergency Due to COVID-19 Pandemic:

CSC Memorandum Circular No. 10, s. 2020

1.0 Scope and Coverage
These revised interim guidelines shall cover all government agencies and instrumentalities, namely: Constitutional Bodies, Departments, Bureaus, and Agencies of the National Government, Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) with original charters, Local Government Units (LGUs), and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

Alternative Work Arrangements

2.0 Alternative Work Arrangements
Government agencies may adopt any or a combination of the following alternative work arrangements:

2.1 Work-from-Home – refers to an output-oriented work arrangement that authorizes the worker to produce outputs/results and accomplishments outside of the office.

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3.1 Work-from-Home

a. The work-from-home arrangement shall be adopted in areas placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) by the President;

b. The work-from-home arrangement may be adopted in areas placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) where public transportation shall operate at a reduced capacity and physical/social distancing is required in the workplace.

c. Employees who are below 21 years old and those who are 60 years old and above, as well as those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, or other health risk, and pregnant women, including those who reside with the aforementioned, and are residing in areas placed under GCQ, shall be under work-from-home arrangement, except when their services are indispensable under the circumstances or when office work is permitted.

d. Work-from-home arrangements may be allowed for the following tasks:
1. research;
2. policy formulation/review/amendment;
3. project work, including but not limited to, drafting of proposals/project studies/training modules;
4. data encoding/processing;
5. adjudication of cases or review of cases, including legal work;
6. budget planning and forecasting;
7. recording, examination and interpretation of financial records and reports;
8. evaluation and formulation of accounting, auditing and management control systems;
9. computer programming;
10. database maintenance;
11. design work/drafting of drawing plans;
12. preparation of information materials;
13. sending/receiving e-mail;
14. HR tasks, e.g. computation of leave credits, preparation of payroll etc., as the case maybe; and
15. other analogous tasks which require the use of a computer and the World Wide Web (Internet) for reading, encoding, printing or submission of written outputs for the review, evaluation or final presentation/assessment of the immediate supervisor, the head of office or the management.

e. To facilitate the implementation of the work-from-home arrangement, the agency head shall ensure the following:
1. The employees are given tasks to be performed to the full extent possible in terms of man-days per work week.
2. Employees under work-from-home shall make themselves available during the work hours that they are at home.
3. The employees have access to or is provided with any communication equipment or facilities, such as computer/laptop, internet or e-mail, facsimile, telephone or mobile phone.
4. Appropriate measures such as Pledge of Confidentiality of Information, Data encryptions, etc. are in place to ensure protection of data used and processed by the employees pursuant to Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
5. The confidential and proprietary information are protected and secured at all times.

Skeleton (Skeletal) Workforce

2.2 Skeleton (Skeletal) Workforce – refers to a work arrangement where a minimum number of employees is required to man the office to render service when full staffing is not possible.

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3.0 Parameters in the Implementation of Alternative Work Arrangements

3.2 Skeleton (Skeletal) Workforce

a. During ECQ, skeleton workforce may be allowed unless a different operational capacity is provided in agencies providing health and emergency frontline services, border control, and other critical services as identified in the IATF Omnibus Guidelines on Community Quarantine;

b. The employees assigned as skeleton workforce, during ECQ, shall be issued the necessary travel/office orders, in addition to the office-issued IDs for proper identification.

c. Agencies located in areas placed under the GCQ shall use skeleton workforce as one of its alternative work arrangements.

d. In case the duty or work schedule of an employee assigned as a skeleton workforce falls on a regular holiday, the required 40-hour workweek shall be considered as complied. However, if the employee is required to report, he or she should be entitled to additional compensation like overtime or compensatory time off (CTO), among others.

e. The employees assigned as skeleton workforce shall be entitled to Hazard Pay on top of the Compensatory Time Off or Overtime Pay, as well as other applicable allowances, subject to accounting and auditing rules and regulations.

(Employees under the skeleton workforce during ECQ or MECQ shall be entitled to hazard pay pursuant to Administrative Order No. 26, 2020)

Four-day (Compressed) Workweek

2.3 Four-day (Compressed) Workweek – refers to a work arrangement whereby the employees’ workweek is compressed to four (4) days each week.

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3.0 Parameters in the Implementation of Alternative Work Arrangements

3.3 Four-day (Compressed) Workweek

a. The four-day workweek may be used as one of the alternative work arrangements of the agencies located in areas placed under GCQ which are identified either as moderate-and low-risk in the spread of COVID-19.

b. The 4-day workweek may be observed as follows: Monday to Thursday, Tuesday to Friday, Monday to Tuesday and Thursday to Friday or a combination of the 4-day workdays to ensure that there are employees reporting the whole workweek.

c. In case a regular holiday falls within the scheduled workweek of the employee, the required 40-hour workweek shall be considered as complied except employees of agencies who are required to provide skeleton force in health emergency frontline services, border control and other critical services that is required to operate on a 24/7 work schedule.

Staggered Working Hours

2.4 Staggered Working Hours – refers to a work arrangement applicable to offices/agencies that observe work shifting or flexible working time. For this purpose, staggered working hours refers to the existing 24/7 shifting schedule and the flexible working time schedule.

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3.0 Parameters in the Implementation of Alternative Work Arrangements

3.4 Staggered Working Hours

a. The agency shall strategize the adoption of the staggered working hours of employees to limit the number of officials and employees in an office at any given time. Example: 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 pm, and 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

b. The agency head, in consultation with the employees, shall prepare the staggered work schedule in light of the present situation.

c. The agency head shall ensure that the employees remain flexible in making themselves available for work duties outside of core hours if required.

Other Alternative Work Arrangements

2.5 Other Alternative Work Arrangements – refer to work arrangements consisting of a combination of the above enumerated work arrangements or other work arrangements appropriate/applicable to the agency subject to the prevailing community quarantine in the area where the agency is located and the nature of work/job performed by the employee/s.


3.0 Parameters in the Implementation of Alternative Work Arrangements

3.5 Other Alternative Work Arrangements

a. Agencies may adopt other alternative work arrangements that are appropriate/applicable to their functions as well as their place of work other than the above-enumerated work arrangements.

b. Agencies may use a combination of the above enumerated work arrangements or a combination with the other work arrangements it adopted, such as three-day workweek and 2 days work-from-home arrangement to complete the 40-hour workweek.

Support Mechanisms

4.0 Support Mechanisms
The agency head shall ensure that all workers are afforded with the following adequate support mechanisms:

a. Health/psychosocial interventions like stress debriefing;
b. Provision of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline service providers and employees;
c. Reduced working hours, as authorized by the President;
d. Reasonable transportation facilities and housing quarters shall be provided to employees assigned as skeleton workforce, whenever practicable, and subject to accounting and auditing rules and regulations;
e. Reasonable expenses incurred during the work-from-home may be defrayed by the agency subject to accounting and auditing rules and regulations; and
f. Other monetary and forms of incentives as may be allowed by the Office of the President or other authorized agencies or upon approval of the heads of agencies subject to accounting and auditing rules and regulations.

General Guidelines

5.0 General Guidelines

5.1 The alternative work arrangements shall be adopted only for the duration of the State of National Emergency or until lifted by the President.

5.2 The agency head shall give priority to the preferred schedule of employees who are senior citizens, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities (PWD). (preference in schedule of employees may also include those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, or other health risk, including those who reside with the aforementioned.)

following activities and precautionary measures

5.3 The following activities and precautionary measures should be implemented by agencies prior to the resumption of normal office operations:

a. Disinfection or decontamination activities on all its buildings, facilities and office vehicles.
The disinfection should be part of the regular maintenance and upkeep of the agency.
b. Conduct of health status survey to ensure that all those reporting to the office are in tip-top shape and that no one is exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19 disease.
c. Modification of the workplace layout to ensure observance of physical distancing requirements of those who will be reporting to the office.

For alternative work arrangements that require physical presence

5.4 For alternative work arrangements that require physical presence in the office premises, physical distancing requirements should always be observed.

Agencies shall implement minimum health standards protocol

5.5 Agencies shall implement minimum health standards protocol at all times such as wearing of face masks, taking of body temperature, and presence of sanitation stations.

Agencies may use videoconferencing

5.6 Agencies may use videoconferencing/teleconferencing in conducting meetings to minimize face to face interaction.

Agencies shall adopt a monitoring mechanism

5.7 Agencies shall adopt a monitoring mechanism such as submission of daily/weekly accomplishment report/s, etc., during the implementation of the alternative work arrangements to ensure that public service delivery is not prejudiced.

Agencies shall formulate their internal rules and regulations

5.8 Agencies shall formulate their internal rules and regulations governing the alternative work arrangements they adopted and implemented in their agency. Said guidelines shall include the work arrangements of its personnel who are in transit (daily/weekly) in reporting to work and going home from the ECQ area to GCQ area or vice-versa, or from the quarantine free area to ECQ or GCQ area.

Agencies shall submit a report

5.9 Agencies shall submit a report on the implementation of the alternative work arrangements to the Civil Service Commission through the CSC Regional Offices for policy formulation and records purposes.

6.0 Repealing Clause
This Resolution amends CSC Resolution No. 2000481 dated March 11, 2020 and all other existing guidelines which are inconsistent with these Revised Interim Guidelines are deemed repealed or modified accordingly.

7.0 Effectivity
This interim guideline shall take effect retroactively on March 16, 2020, the date of the President’s declaration placing the country under the State of Calamity and the imposition of ECQ throughout Luzon and other areas and shall remain in force until the State of National Emergency has been lifted by the President of the Philippines.

(Sgd.) Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala

Please access the PDF file of the Memorandum Circular here: https://tinyurl.ph/nApX8

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