Bacolod Rep. Anthony Golez Jr. has introduced a bill titled “An Act Prescribing the Night Shift Premium Pay in Call Centers in the Philippines.”
The bill provides that all call center employees will be paid an additional night shift premium of 20 percent of their basic pay for work undertaken during night shift.
It said the night shift premium pay will be paid by call centers to their employees irrespective of the latter’s basic pay or any other benefits.
Golez said the call center industry, mostly run by foreigners, has been rapidly growing in terms of revenues and employment and has engaged Filipinos as its workers because of their expertise in information technology and fluency in the English language.
It has contributed significantly to the Philippine economy and has been one of the biggest sources of employment for Filipinos, he said.
Employees in the call center industry are exposed to heavy stress because they take calls of agitated or angry customers, Golez said.
They also make calls to costumers of their companies for purposes of addressing concerns, making sales, or other matters that require a lot of activity that results to stress, he said. Most of the call center companies operate during night time and this adds to the employees’ exposure to health hazards, he added.
Golez said the Labor Code only mandates a premium pay of 10 percent for work undertaken between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. the next day.
Daily or frequent exposure to work during these hours and the stress in the call center industry causes health problems, and, as such, it is proper that Filipino employees of call centers be properly compensated for health risks, Golez said.
Increasing the mandated premium pay for work undertaken during night time in call centers is a small price to pay for businesses, some of whom enjoy tax benefits for being located in Philippine Economic Zone Authority-accredited zones while earning huge incomes, he said.*CGS