Voluntary code of good practices was signed by the BPO firms and the labor representatives of the BPO industry in Bacolod city of Philippines. Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) of Philippines earlier urged the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies to sign the code to help authorities increase the number of qualified workers in the country.
DOLE secretary announced earlier that commitment to this code is voluntary. Code provides a benchmark and best practice guide for the BPO companies in Philippines to comply with country’s moral and social obligations and to adhere to the law, good customs and public policy.
The code has two main features: education and training, and the necessity of maintaining peace and harmony by the BPO companies. Government sources cited the collaboration between labor and industry, government agencies and academic institutions to implement skill enhancement and training programs that are relevant to BPO industry.
Excerpts from the Code of Good Practices:
- The BPO industry and the academic institutions will work together to enhance the skills of both the faculties and the students.
- They will encourage faculty internship program, technical forums, career talks and curriculum review.
- The education and training programs will be supervised by the academy in partnership with the ICT (Information Communications Technology).
- Enhance the capabilities of employees by sending them to training.
- In addition to basic salary, they will provide allowances and incentives.
- Provide 20-30 sick leaves to the employees which are convertible to cash if not availed.
- Two days off for the employees.
- Encourage the loyalty of the workers by providing them with performance incentives/loyalty awards/merits/educational programs etc.
- Provide health insurance plans, retirement plans, loan assistance etc.
- Provide adequate safety measures and healthy environment for employees to work.
- Provide free health services and vaccines to the employees.
- Ensure proper waste disposal measures for hazardous wastes like USPs, batteries etc.
- To promote drug free work place and monitor the premises for any illegal practices prevention.
- Provide training to the employees regarding the health issues.
- Use of quality equipments to prevent computer related health disorders.
- To maintain adequate facilities, transportation and rest room for the employees.
- To prevent absenteeism, the companies will provide productivity incentives and attendance awards.
- Measures to retain the employees and if in case termination is required the company would provide separation pay.
- Measures adopted to prevent labor management disputes.
- Provide employees with best possible wages, benefits and condition to work within the purview of the government policies.
- The companies shall formulate monitoring mechanisms to monitor the code and its implementation.
The code has facilitated additional security to the industry along with Labor code of Philippines for the BPO industry workforce. The Government authorities also extended their hope that the code will serve to increase the employment productivity. Similar initiatives could actually motivate the labor force to look at this segment with more interest from a long term career perspective.