Split work shifts

With the ongoing pandemic, many establishments have resorted to irregular operating hours which in turn created split work shifts for certain employees. For those who have been affected, many of them ask the validity of work shifts under Philippine Labor Law.

What is a split work shift?

Split work shifts (commonly called “split shifts”) refer to a workshift that is divided usually into two shifts (e.g. 4 hours for 1st shift, 4 hours for 2nd shift) with a substantial gap in between shifts (meaning: more than the 60-minute meal break).

In other countries, they have a specific law covering this arrangement and often provides for regulations on adopting such arrangement and/or adding benefits to covered employees.

As of writing, there is no specific laws in the Philippines covering splift shifts.

That being the case, is it legal for an employer to adopt split shifts?

Why do establishments adopt it

Before answering the question, it may be important to consider why an employer would adopt a split shift working arrangement.

While there are many possible reasons depending on the business, the primary and usual reason is that a specific work is needed on specific times of a day/night where there is an unusual volume of work. These specific times are separated with a lull time or when there is not much activity.

If you are wondering which industries apply split shifts, they are usually observed in restaurants, manufacturing, and hospitals, to name a few.

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