• Attendance in required seminars is compensable

    1
    Persida Acosta

    Persida Acosta

    Dear Den,

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    To summarize your query, you are asking if your attendance in a required training seminar scheduled on a rest day is compensable working time. The answer to this is provided in the Labor Code of the Philippines.

    First of all, what is considered as working hour is defined by our Labor law as:

    “Art. 82 Hours Worked—Hours worked shall include (a) all the time during which an employee is required to be on duty or to be at a prescribed workplace, and (b) all the time during which an employee is or permitted to work. xxx.” (Labor Code of the Philippines)

    Although you are not performing your daily tasks during a training seminar, the fact that you are required by your employer to be present at a prescribed place for the seminar translates to an order that you are required to follow as part of your work.

    In addition, any ambiguity as to whether or not such a training seminar is considered compensable working time is clarified by a provision in the Implementing Rules of the Labor Code which states that:

    “Sec. 6. Lectures, Meetings, Training Programs—Attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs, and other similar activities shall not be counted as working time if all of the following conditions are met: attendance isoutside of the employee’s regular working hours; attendance is in fact voluntary; and    the employee does not perform any productive work during such attendance.” (Rule 1, Book III, Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code). Stated another way, this rule provides that attendance in training programs is considered working time if not all of the above conditions are present. One of the required conditions is the voluntary nature of the activity. Since your training seminar is required by your employer, the condition of voluntariness is absent which makes the said activity part of working time. And since the said activity is considered working time, employees are mandated by law to receive their regular wage for that day. In instances when a required training seminar or similar activity is scheduled on an employee’s rest day, there will be an additional compensation of at least 30 percent of the regular daily wage on top of the employee’s usual daily wage since it is considered as work on a rest day (Sec. 9, Rule 1, Book III, Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code).

    Thus, to summarize the rules, required attendance on training seminars are considered as compensable working hours. If such training falls on a rest day, the employee should receive additional compensation for working on a rest day.

    Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.

    We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.

    Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net
     

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    1 Comment

    1. Atty. Roslee M. Formoso on

      Seminars, trainings, workshops, an similar, are conducted by the companies for the advancements of their employees. These seminars are contracted by the company (like banks) to professionals who possesses the expertises and the banks pays per participants which the bank does not pass the fees to the participating employees but instead gave it as perks. Here in the U.S. the employees are responsible for their own trainings for advancement and pay to their own the fees.

      When the bank does selection among its employees who should take the seminar because according to HR, inorder for the employee to be promoted she must possesses the skills and the devoted HR looked into those employees entered into a professional contract for the seminar which the bank paid and gave it free to the employees. Attendance is voluntary but weekend seminars are not paid.

      Attending seminar is free and for the employees advancement needed for her promotion, it shall be unfair that their seminar time be taken from the worktime and if done on weekend that they be paid

      Henceforth, the employee may opt not to join the seminar on weekend because she/he not paid.

      An overview, seminar for twenty people would costs Php300,000.00 which is paid by the banks and free to the employees who are In dire need of this seminar for their promotions.

      An overnight Board members seminars costs, Php500,000.00