Time, Place, and Manner of Work

1. Summary

▪ Time, place, and manner of work is a management prerogative.

▪ Manner of work includes working methods and work assignments.

2. Concepts

The time of work refers to the time when the work starts and ends, including work schedules and work shifts, among others.

The place of work refers to the place where work is to be performed or done, including the Company’s office, a work site such as a manufacturing facility or another place outside the office, deployment to a client’s work premises, telecommuting areas such as in shared offices or at the employee’s home, among others.

The manner of work refers to the working methods to be observed, including systems and processes, technology and devices, reporting and submitting outputs, as well as work assignments in terms of who are best suited to perform a particular work, among others.

“Under the doctrine of management prerogative, every employer has the inherent right to regulate, according to his own discretion and judgment, all aspects of employment, including… the time, place and manner of work.” (Rural Bank of Cantilan, Inc. v. Julve, G.R. No. 169750, 27 February 2007)

3. Time of work

The time of work is included in management prerogative.

Currently, there is no labor law nor regulation that regulates the starting time for work, work schedules that may be adopted in established, nor work shifts that may be implemented in certain industries, among others. Labor law only provides for the 8-hour rule for overtime pay, regular holidays for holiday pay, as well as rest and special non-working day for premium pay, if an employee is covered.

Accordingly, it is the employer who decides on the starting time for work, work schedules, work shifts, among others.

a. Work schedule and work shifts

Work schedules refer to the day and time when work is to be performed or done. For example, in an office, work schedule may be from Monday to Saturday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The 60-meal period is included in the work schedule.

Work shifts refer to the shift or time period of work in a day where there is more than one operating time. For example, in a hospital, work shifts may be from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, 5:00 pm to 2:00 am, and 2:00 pm to 11:00 am. The 60-meal period is included in the work shifts.

b. Split shifts

Split shifts refer to a work shift that is divided into two shifts (e.g. 4 hours for the 1st shift and 4 hours for the 2nd shift) with a substantial gap in between (meaning: more than the 60-minute meal break). This is usually observed in establishments where volume of work in a day is usually on certain specific time periods, and they are separated by a wide gap of lull time or dead time. Thus, having a straight 8-hour work shift is not practical. Instead, it is split into shifts.

There is currently no labor law nor regulation that regulates split shifts.

4. Place of work

The place of work is included in management prerogative.

Currently, there is no labor law nor regulation that regulates where work may be performed.

Labor law only provides for occupational safety and health standards in workplaces, including but not limited to, and where applicable, formulation of occupational safety and health workplace policies and programs, assignment of physicians or nurses or safety personnel, provisions for personal protective equipment, posting of safety signs or reminders, among others.

Accordingly, it is the employer who decides where work may be performed.

a. On-site workplace

Work may be performed in on-site workplaces. It includes the principal place of business or headquarters of the employer, satellite offices, branches, stores, outlets, client’s premises, and analogous thereto. It is “on-site” if an employee is required to be on the site to perform the work.

b. Off-site workplace or telecommuting

Work may be performed in off-site workplaces or via telecommuting. It includes shared workspaces, local coffee shop, even at the employee’s home, and similar places. It is “off-site” if an employee is not required and thus it is optional for the employee to be in such site to perform the work.

5. Manner of work

The manner of work is included in management prerogative.

Currently, there is no labor law nor regulation that regulates the manner of work or how it may be performed/done.

Similar to place of work, Labor law only provides for occupational safety and health standards in workplaces, including but not limited to, and where applicable, formulation of occupational safety and health workplace policies and programs, assignment of physicians or nurses or safety personnel, provisions for personal protective equipment, posting of safety signs or reminders, among others.

a. Employer controls employees

Related to manner of work, Labor law has repeatedly emphasized that it is only the employer who may control the employees. Simplified, the employer is the one who instructs or directs the employee on manner of work or how to perform a particular service.

In the four-fold test to prove employer-employee relationship, the fourth and most important factor or criteria is on: control. If there is control being exercised, there may be a finding of employer-employee relationship even if the putative employer denies it and notwithstanding the fact that there is documentation, usually a contract, stating that there is no employer-employee relationship with the other party, who is usually denominated as an independent contractor, talent, artist, or professional.

Likewise, the fact of control is critical in contracting and sub-contracting arrangement where a Contractor (the Employer) deploys or assigns its employees to perform services for the Principal (the Client). As the employer, it is the Contractor who should instructs or directs its employees on how to do the work, what tools to use, and what processes to follow, among others. If the Principal, through its own staff, gives the instructions or directives, then it may result in a finding of labor-only contracting wherein the Principal will be deemed the true and actual employer, and not the Contractor, in relation to the deployed or assigned personnel.

References

▪ Department of Labor and Employment, Department Order No. 15, Series of 2016

▪ Jurisprudence or Supreme Court Decisions

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