Labor urges employers to extend paid isolation, quarantine leaves

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As new wave of COVID-19 cases rise again, the Department of Labor and Employment urged private employers to adopt and implement paid isolation and quarantine program for workers who are affected of the coronavirus.

In an advisory released by the labor department, Monday, January 17, it suggests to employers to extend paid isolation and quarantine leaves without prejudice to other benefits provided by the Social Security System and the Employees’ Compensation Commission. It added that this must also be on top of whatever leave credits an employee is entitled to under the company’s existing policy.

But DOLE stressed that its recommendation is only applicable to employees falling under the case definition of close contact, suspect, probable, or confirmed case shall complete the home-based or facility-based quarantine or isolation period by the prevailing Department of Health (DOH) Department Memorandum No. 2022-0013 (Updated Guidelines on Quarantine, Isolation, and Testing for COVID-19 Response and Case Management for the Omicron Variant), DOH Department Circular No. 2022-0002 (Advisory on COVID-19 Protocols for Quarantine and Isolation), and the DOLE and DTI Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04-A (Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19).

DOH earlier announced a shortened quarantine period for fully vaccinated and boosted individuals who tested positive of the virus but are experiencing mild symptoms to undergo only 7-day isolation, instead of 14 days. While those tagged as close contact are only required to undergo 5 days of isolation so long as they are fully vaccinated.

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