Recently, the House of Representatives has approved a bill that compresses the regular workweek of five to six days to four days on the third and final reading.
According to their statement, House Bill 6152 aims to “institutionalize the compressed work week scheme to promote business competitiveness, work efficiency and labor productivity.” If ever the bill gets the Senate's approval, employers will have the choice whether or not to implement this arrangement depending on which industry their businesses are in.
“This won’t penalize companies who will not implement a four-day work week since this is only optional,” Baguio City Representative Mark Go, who co-authored the bill, said to PhilStar.com. “This concept can be adjusted accordingly in case where the normal work week of the company is five days.”
A four-day work week may seem like a breath of fresh air to most, but as with everything else, it has its pros and cons. Here are a few ways that House Bill 6152 can affect you and your career.
PRO: There will (hopefully) be less traffic.
If companies accommodate this system, it means that there will be significantly less commuters on the road on any given day. This also means that people who are scheduled to work that day get to their offices faster. That’s less stress, less hulas, better moods, and most importantly, better performance and increased productivity.
CON: You'll get longer work hours a day.
It’s called a “compressed” work week for a reason. House Bill 6152 states that “The normal hours of work of any employee shall not exceed eight hours a day except in cases where the enterprise adopts a compressed work week scheme, but shall not exceed 48 hours a week.” That’s a maximum of 12 hours in the office every day for four days weekly. Studies have already shown that working long hours can take its toll on your health, especially if you don’t give yourself time to take breaks. This may also mean that you have less time for your personal life after office hours.
PRO: You get three rest days in a week.
Imagine—three days to wake up late, three days to rest and recuperate. If you can stick with doing anything work-related on your rest days, then you get to “bawi” your long shifts and enjoy your personal life uninterrupted. It can allow you more time to pursue hobbies, while also helping you save money that you’re supposed to be using for transportation, food, and other miscellaneous expenses on a regular five-day work week.
CON: There will probably be times when you still need to work for five days.
The Bill stipulates that time tenured over and beyond the lawful 48 hours a week is eligible for overtime pay. While this sounds fair, it also means that you’re using your supposed rest day to work, which basically renders the entire concept of a four-day work week moot.
Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Zarte has his misgivings. He told GMA News Online that “This scheme would also induce more contractualization because a compressed work week would entice companies to get more non-regular workers into their labor force and gradually ease out regular workers.”
PRO: This is optional.
As mentioned earlier, companies will still have to decide whether House Bill 6152 will benefit them or not if ever it gets passed into law. Professions that require to regularly have hands on deck (such as those in health care), will still have the five-day work week. Companies need to open discussions with their employees regarding proper scheduling arrangements that will benefit both sides. If done correctly, a flexi-time system can increase the savings of companies and improve the quality of life of employees.
CON: Implementation may come with a lot of loopholes.
House Bill 6152 still needs the Senate’s approval. Should there be any issues or inconsistencies, the Senate needs to flesh them all out, create counter measures, or if nothing works, scrap the Bill entirely. Sadly, there will always be employers who will find ways to abuse the four-day work week to improve profit at the risk of their employees’ health and happiness. This highlights the need for clear provisions on how to penalize institutions that will take wrongful advantage of this system.
So are you up for a four-day compressed work week? Tell us what you think in the comments section.