FILE PHOTO: A health worker performs a swab test on a client at the Philippine Red Cross in Mandaluyong City on Thursday, September 24, 2020. INQUIRER/GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday urged employers in the private sector to grant paid isolation and quarantine leaves for their workers who either tested positive for the new coronavirus or are identified as close contacts of a COVID-19 case.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in an advisory that the paid isolation and quarantine leaves should be on top of the existing leave benefits under company policies.
“Employers are urged, in consultation with the employees or employees’ representative if any, to adopt and implement an appropriate paid isolation and quarantine leave program on top of existing leave benefits under the company policy, Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Labor Code of the Philippines, and special laws,” the DOLE chief said in his Labor Advisory 01 s. 2022.
The advisory is requiring all private employees to complete home-based or facility-based quarantine or isolation periods of employees identified as either a close contact, suspected, probable, or confirmed case, in accordance with the guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH).
“The paid isolation and quarantine leaves shall be without prejudice to other benefits provided by the Social Security System and the Employees Compensation Commission,” it states.
Under the current DOH guidelines, fully-vaccinated asymptomatic close contacts of people who are either positive for COVID-19 or are potentially infected must quarantine for at least five days from potential exposure.
Quarantine, however, is longer for the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated with a total of 14 days.
Meanwhile, isolation for people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus lasts at least seven days for fully-vaccinated people who are asymptomatic while it would last for at least 10 days for asymptomatic people who are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated.
Those with moderate symptoms, on the other hand, are required to undergo 10 days of isolation while those with severe symptoms should undergo 21 days of isolation.
On Monday, the Philippines logged a daily rise of 37,070 new COVID-19 infections increasing current active cases to 290,938.
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