Sen. Leila De Lima has filed a measure seeking to provide employees in the private sector paid leaves during a state of calamity on account of an infectious disease, such as COVID-19.
Any private sector employee regardless of employment status who tests positive for COVID-19 or any emerging infectious disease will be given a five-day paid epidemic leave under Senate Bill 2307.
The measure also provides a maximum of 60 days of paid leave credits at 80% of the employee's full pay for those on "floating status." The paid epidemic leave will be granted once the President or the Local Sanggunian declares a state of calamity.
According to De Lima, the absence of safeguards could force employees to choose between health and income, which puts public safety at risk.
"This proposed measure is a social justice tool that upholds workers' most basic human rights," she said.
"If we can offer protections to industries, nothing should stand in the way of shielding employees from oppressive situations that epidemics of this magnitude have confined them in," she added.
Last May, De Lima also filed a measure seeking 10 working days of paid COVID-19 leave for employees who got infected with the disease and who cannot work from home due to the nature of their jobs.