Women No Longer Prohibited From Working at Night
By Atty. Elvin Villanueva, guest author
Do you know that under the Labor Code, women are generally not allowed to work at night?
Article 130 prohibits any company from requiring women to work at night. There are exceptions under Article 131. However, even the exceptions are very restrictive which will make the present practice of call centers employing women at night a violation of the Labor Code.
Congress recently enacted R.A. 10151 allowing employment of night workers and in effect repealing Articles 130 and 131 of the Labor Code.
Under this law, new chapter has been added to Book III of the Labor Code which provides safety measures to night workers, most especially women. Employers are required to observe the following procedures though:
1. Health assessment of night workers;
2. First-aid and treatment facilities, transportation to the nearest point of residence per DOLE approval, and sleeping or resting quarters;
3. Transfer of workers to other shift if unfit to do night work;
4. Women night workers with special provisions on alternative schedule for pregnant women and women who have just delivered a child;
5. Consultation by employers with labor unions, if any;
6. Social services availability; and
7. Appropriate compensation recognizing the exceptional nature of night work.
DOLE has yet to issue the implementing rules. Employers, especially those in call centers, can now sleep soundly knowing that they cannot be held liable for employing women at night.