Being late for work due to heavy traffic could soon be a thing of the past.

Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11165 or “An Act Institutionalizing Telecommuting as an Alternative Work Arrangement for Employees in the Private Sector”. With it, employees in the private sector will be able to work from the comfort of their homes or from an alternative workspace via a computer or laptop.

According to the law itself, an employer from the private sector can offer its employees a telecommuting program on a voluntary basis. From there, the employer and employee can set terms and conditions that they can mutually agree on. However, the law states that any employee that is part of the telecommuting program shall have the same level of labor standards as those that work on-site.

No more daily commute: President Duterte signs work-from-home bill into law

In other words, employess working from home will receive a fixed salary, overtime or holiday pay, have the right to holiday breaks or vacation leaves, and receive medical or other types of benefits. In addition, they have to have the same level of access to traning and career development opportunities as those that are working on the premises itself.

For workers that have to travel far and endure hectic commutes, working from home may prove to be the better alternative especially in today's traffic-riddled cities. More so, they will not have to spend as much going to and from work.

“With this recently signed law, we can now have a stable and consistent legal framework that can provide an enabling environment to encourage participation and enforce compliance among enterprises, big or small. This is indeed a fitting New Year’s welcome for our dedicated Filipino workers,” said Senator Emmanuel Joel Villanueva, one of the principal authors of R.A. 11165.

The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) will be made by the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) with consultation from stakeholders within the next 60 days.