Supreme Court: Employers should pay employees' waiting time if...

COMPENSABILITY OF WAITING TIME: When is waiting time compensable?

Waiting time spent by an employee shall be considered as working time if waiting is an integral part of his work or the employee is required or engaged by the employer to wait.

In Arica v. NLRC, it was ruled that the 30-minute assembly time practiced by the employees of the company cannot be considered “waiting time” and should not therefore be compensable.
Although it is clear that employers must compensate employees for time actually spent working, questions arise as to whether the minimum wage and overtime provisions also apply to time spent waiting to perform productive work. Under the regulations, whether waiting time is time worked depends on the particular circumstances.
Time spent waiting for work is compensable if it is spent “primarily for the benefit of the employer and [its] business. ” Conversely, if the time is spent primarily for the benefit of the employee, the time is not compensable. In determining whether waiting time constitutes hours worked, the amount of control the employer has over the employee during the waiting time, and whether the employee can effectively use that time for his own purposes is material.

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