Employers Urged to Give Paid Quarantine, Isolation Leaves, DOLE Says

Recommended, not mandatory.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

Employers are urged to provide paid isolation and quarantine leaves to workers who cannot report for work due to COVID-19, the Department of Labor and Employment said Monday as the surge in virus infections persist in the Philippines.

While companies are not required to provide such benefits, Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello III said the advisory is meant to "ensure safe and humane working conditions."

"Employers are urged, in consultation with the employees or employees' representative if any, to adopt and implement an appropriate paid isolation and quarantine leave program on top of existing leave benefits under the company policy,  Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Labor Code of the Philippines, and special laws," Bello said in the advisory.

"The paid isolation and quarantine leaves shall be without prejudice to other benefits provided by the Social Security  System and the Employees Compensation Commission," he added.


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The surge in COVID-19 cases, driven by the more contagious omicron variant, has slowed or paralyzed the operations of several businesses.

Last week, the Department of Health updated the country's isolation and quarantine guidelines as follows:

For close contacts of people with COVID

The updated quarantine period for close contacts, or those exposed to COVID-positive persons differs according to vaccination status.

  • For the fully vaccinated with no symptoms: five days
  • For the partially vaccinated or unvaccinated: 14 days

For the COVID-positive with mild or moderate symptoms, asymptomatic

COVID-19 cases without symptoms, including medical frontliners, must isolate based on their date of test.

  • Fully vaccinated: seven days from date of test
  • Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated: 10 days from date of test

Fully-vaccinated individuals including healthcare workers will have to isolate for one week from the onset of symptoms if they are:

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  • COVID-probable with symptoms
  • COVID-positive with mild symptoms

Partially-vaccinated or unvaccinated persons including healthcare workers need to isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms if they are:

  • COVID-probable with symptoms
  • COVID-positive with mild symptoms

For severe and critical cases, those with weak immune systems

COVID-19 patients, including healthcare workers, considered severe or critical cases must isolate for 21 days from onset of symptoms regardless of vaccination status.

Those who are immunocompromised or with autoimmune disease, HIV, cancer or malignancy, transplant patients, undergoing steroid treatment, patients with poor prognosis and bedridden patients are also required to isolate for 21 days from onset of symptoms with a negative repeat RT-PCR test.

The DOH said these people can end their isolation upon completion of the required days as long as they do not develop fever for at least 24 hours without medications and have improvement of symptoms, the DOH said.

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