Is it lawful for the employers to compel their employees to render overtime work?
Article 83 of the Labor Code of the Philippines provides that the normal hours of work or any employee shall not exceed eight (8) hours a day. As a rule, the rendering of work beyond the eight-hour period shall be voluntary only. However, there are instances when an employer may require his employees to perform overtime work. These are enumerated in Article 89 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, to wit:
“Article 89. EMERGENCY OVERTIME WORK. – Any employee may be required by the employer to perform overtime work in any of the following cases:
a. When the country is at war or when any other national or local emergency has been declared by the National Assembly or the Chief Executive;
b. When it is necessary to prevent loss of life or property or in case of imminent danger to public safety due to an actual or impending emergency in the locality caused by serious accidents, fire, blood, typhoon, earthquake, epidemic or other disaster or calamity;
c. When there is urgent work to be performed on machines, installations, or equipment, in order to avoid serious loss or damage to the employer or some other cause of similar nature;
d. When the work is necessary to prevent loss or damage to perishable goods; and
e. Where the completion or continuation of the work started before the eight hour is necessary to prevent serious obstruction or prejudice to the business or operations of the employer.
Whether the overtime work was rendered by the employee voluntarily or in accordance with any of the aforementioned cases, the employee shall be paid an additional compensation equivalent to his regular wage plus at least twenty-five percent (25%) thereof, for the work he performed beyond the eight-hour working hours. If the employee worked beyond eight (8) hours on a holiday or rest day, he shall be paid an additional compensation equivalent to the rate of the first eight (8) hours on a holiday or rest day plus at least thirty percent (30%) thereof (Article 87, Labor Code of the Philippines).
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