“Working methods” – refer to the processes, steps, or methodology to do a particular work.
a. Management prerogative
What would be the working methods to be used in doing work is a management prerogative.
“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… working method.” (Rural Bank of Cantilan, Inc. v. Julve, G.R. No. 169750, 27 February 2007)
2. Processes, steps, methodology
Even in similar businesses in the same industry, there is the possibility that they have different processes, steps, or methodology that they employ in doing work. One company may be more reliant on analog means or manpower, while another may build a workflow around the use of digital technology.
In a much more complex businesses/industries, employers often adopt systems that the workforce uses to ensure that work is properly done, particularly for those areas that require constant monitoring as in the case of machines and equipment.
3. Employee’s responsibility
It is the responsibility of the employees to observe the workplaces processes, steps, and methodology. Generally, these have been put in place by the management as a result of careful study and though, especially if there have been numerous incidents/accidents in the past that prompted re-evaluation of current methodologies.
While the employee may come up with better ways and means of doing work, it should first be properly endorsed to the management for proper consideration and resolution. It is possible that these suggested improvements may have conflicts with other processes that the employee may not be aware of and thus should first be properly evaluated, tried, and eventually tested.
In case of an incident/accident resulting from non-compliance with established workplace practices, at-fault employees who made changes to the processes without management approval will find it very difficult to establish good faith as a defense. The primary purpose of having these systems in place is precisely to avoid untoward incidents/accidents.
/Updated: December 28, 2022