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News : Lawmaker Eyes Hike on Call Center Workers' Pay
Manila, Philippines, June 30, 2014 -- A Mindanao-based legislator has filed a bill which seeks to increase the graveyard shift pay of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) employees from 10 percent to 25 percent of their basic salary.
Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu said House Bill 4414 seeks to ensure that BPO employees are properly compensated for the risks they are exposed to in working from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
"BPO employees are often exposed to stress because they take calls of agitated or angry customers. They likewise make calls to customers of their companies for purposes of addressing concerns, making sales or other matters that require a lot of activity, resulting in undue stress.
"In addition, most BPOs operate during the night and this adds to the employees’ exposure to health hazard," Mangudadatu said.
He said that he is optimistic BPO owners and operators can afford the additional graveyard shift pay for their employees.
"It should be highlighted that BPOs are owned and operated by foreigners and are in Philippine Economic Zone Authority-accredited locations. This proposed increase is just a small price to pay for owners and operators of BPOs, some of whom enjoy tax benefits for being located in PEZA-accredited locations," Mangudadatu said.
He noted that the existing applicable provision in the Labor Code of the Philippines only mandates an additional pay of 10 percent for work done from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
His bill, however, proposes that all BPO employees shall be paid an additional pay amounting to 25 percent of their basic salary for work undertaken during the graveyard shift.
"The basic pay and/or all other benefits, monetary or non-monetary, provided by the BPOs to BPO employees shall not be removed or diminished because of the application of this Act," the bill provides.
The graveyard shift additional pay shall be applied in the entire BPO industry, including those that are located in Information Technology Centers or accredited by PEZA.
Any BPO found to have violated the act should be punished by suspension of business permit for 30 days and P250,000 fine.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, July 2, 2014