I have been solely taking care of my three children since my husband abandoned us for another woman in 2012. I come to work late most of the time because I still need to prepare my kids before leaving for work. Can I ask for a flexible work schedule from the company where I am working?
A parent who was left alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to the abandonment of her spouse for at least one (1) year is considered a solo parent as defined in Section 3(a)(7) of Republic Act (R.A.) 8972 or the Solo Parent Welfare Act. Hence, since your husband has abandoned you for another woman in 2012, you are considered a solo parent and shall be entitled to the benefits provided under the said law.
A flexible work schedule is one of the benefits afforded to a solo parent in the workplace. It is a right granted to a solo parent employee to vary his/her arrival and departure time at work without affecting the core work hours as defined by the employer (Section 3(e), R.A. No. 8972).
Section 6 of R.A. No. 8972 requires employers to provide working schedule for solo parents provided that the same shall not affect individual and company productivity. Any employer, however, may request exemption from the giving of flexible working schedule from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on certain meritorious grounds.
In the case of employees in the government service, flexible working hours will be subject to the discretion of the head of the agency. If the agency adopts the flexible working hours schedule format (flexi-time), they shall ensure that the weekly working hours will not be reduced.
In the adoption of flexi-time, the core working hours shall be prescribed taking into consideration the needs of the service.
Aside from the flexible working schedule, solo parents shall also have the right against discrimination in the workplace and shall be entitled to a parental leave, as provided in Sections 7 and 8, respectively of R.A. No. 8972:
“Section 7. Work Discrimination. – No employer shall discriminate against any solo parent employee with respect to terms and conditions of employment on account of his/her status.
“Section 8. Parental Leave. – In addition to leave privileges under existing laws, parental leave of not more than seven (7) working days every year shall be granted to any solo parent employee who has rendered service of at least one (1) year.”
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts that you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
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