Work done beyond 8-hour period considered overtime

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Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I am an office clerk. We were required by the company to render overtime for compulsory training. When we filed our claim for overtime pay, our manager disapproved it. Do we have the right to demand overtime pay under the circumstances?
Claro

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Dear Carlo,
The Labor Code provides that the normal hours of work of any employee shall not exceed eight (8) hours a day (Article 83). Hence, an employee’s ordinary or regular work hours may not exceed eight (8) hours a day. Work performed beyond this period will be considered overtime for which an employee is entitled to receive additional compensation equivalent to his regular wage plus at least twenty-five (25%) percent. If the overtime work was rendered on a holiday or rest day, the additional compensation is 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).

The hours mentioned above refer to the hours an employee worked and for which he may claim compensation. Hours worked include all time during which an employee is required to be on duty or to be at a prescribed workplace and all time during which an employee is suffered or permitted to work (Article 84). The Implementing Rules of the Labor Code further elaborated on the matter by stating that all hours are hours worked which the employee is required to give his employer, regardless of whether or not such hours are spent in productive labor, or involve physical or mental exertion (Book III, Rule I, Section 4(a)). It is clear from the foregoing that an employee is considered to be working for the employer if he is required to devote his time for his employer, and may not leave the premises of the employer at his will.

From your narration, it appears that your employer required you to stay at a prescribed workplace and devote your time for compulsory training which we assume is related to your work. It is a common practice in some companies to require their employees to attend seminars and trainings aimed at improving their skill and competency in performing their responsibilities. If this is the case, then the time you spent for the compulsory training is considered compensable hours worked, and if the time you devoted for compulsory training is already in excess of the regular hours of work, then the same will be considered overtime for which additional compensation may be claimed.

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.

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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