Employees should NOT work beyond 8 hours

NORMAL HOURS OF WORK PER DAY: The total number of working hours shall not exceed eight (8) hours daily. This eight hour period is called the normal hours of work. Any work in excess of eight hours is considered overtime work.


Reduction of 8-hour Working Day by Employer

The employer, in the lawful exercise of its prerogative, is not prohibited from reducing the eight-hour normal working time per day provided that no corresponding reduction is made on the employee’s wage or salary equivalent to an eight-hour work day. In instances where the number of hours required by the nature of work is less than eight hours, such number of hours should be regarded as the employee’s full working day.

Broken Hours

The normal eight working hours mandated by law, does not always mean a continuous, and uninterrupted, period of eight hours. As may be required by unique circumstances of employment, it may mean broken hours of, for example, four hours in the morning and four hours in the evening, or, four hours in the afternoon and four hours in the evening, or, a variation thereof, provided that, the total of eight hours is accomplished within one “work day.” There is a legal definition of the term, “work day,”  in law. Therefore, even if the 4-hour work is done in the evening, it should not be considered overtime work, since the eight-hour period has not yet been exceeded.

Staggered Working Time

Staggered working time is a valid scheme which may be resorted to by employers. As a matter of precedence, Memorandum Circular No. 81was issued by the Office of the President on December 14, 2004 which implemented the Staggered Working Time in the Executive Department in relation to the other branches of government and the private sector in Metro Manila during the Christmas Season from December 15, 2004 to January 6, 2005. According to this issuance, the “Staggered Working Time” is meant to improve the delivery of goods and services.

Work in Different Shifts

In establishments where work is in different shifts, work done by the employee beyond his eight-hour shift is considered overtime work which should be compensated accordingly. For example, if there are three (3) eight-hour shifts in a “work day,” say, the first shift is from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ; second shift from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. ; and the third shift from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. of the following day, the employee whose regular eight-hour work is in the first shift (6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ) , once required to work in the second or third shift, should be given additional compensation for such work done beyond his regular working hours which legally is considered overtime work.

Reduction of Workdays on Account of Losses

Workdays may be reduced in situations where the reduction in the number of regular working days is resorted to by the employer to prevent serious losses due to causes beyond his control, such as when there is a substantial slump in the demand for his goods or services or when there is lack of raw materials.
Flexible Work Schedule under R.A. No. 8972

Under R.A. No. 8972, otherwise known as “The Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000,” solo parents are allowed to work on a flexible schedule, thus:

“Sec. 6. Flexible Work Schedule. – The employer shall provide for a flexible working schedule for solo parents: Provided, That the same shall not affect individual and company productivity: Provided, further, That any employer may request exemption from the above requirements from the DOLE on certain meritorious grounds.”

The phrase “flexible work schedule” is defined in the same law as the right granted to a solo parent employee to vary his/her arrival and departure time without affecting the core work hours as defined by the employer.

Work Interruptions due to Brownouts

Actually, blackouts and brownouts are different things. Blackouts are instances of total lack of power supply. Brownouts are instances of lack of sufficient electric power to supply consumers.

The following are the effects of work interruption due to brownouts:

[1] Brown-outs of short duration but not exceeding twenty (20) minutes shall be treated as worked or compensable hours whether used productively by the employees or not.

[2] Brown-outs running for more than twenty (20) minutes may not be treated as hours worked provided any of the following conditions are present: (a.) The employees can leave their workplace or go elsewhere whether within or without the work premises, or; (b.) The employees can use the time effectively for their own interest. In each case, the employer may extend the working hours of his employees outside the regular schedules to compensate for the loss of productive man-hours without being liable for overtime pay. 

[3] Industrial enterprises with one or two workshifts may adopt any of the workshifts prescribed for enterprises with three (3) workshifts to prevent serious loss or damage to materials, machineries or equipment that may result in case of power interruptions.

[4] The days when work was not required and no work could be done because of shutdown due to electrical power interruptions, lack of raw materials and repair of machines, are not deemed hours worked.