February 13, 2018
QUEZON CITY – There is no government policy addressing workplace romance in the country but there is none that prevents an employee from falling in love with her/his boss either, claims the labor group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP).
An employee falling in love with her/his boss is okay as long as it is exercised across-the-board, says labor group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) yesterday.
“Since there is no government policy governing workplace romance between co-employees or between a rank-and-file employee falling in love with her boss or vice versa for that matter, the matter of workplace romance issue is controlled by company’s management prerogative. And some employers use or create such prerogative to lay off, demote, or transfer their employees,” Tanjusay said.
That is why the ALU-TUCP is calling for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to step in and issue guidelines on inter- and intra-office workplace romance policy to prevent abusive employers from such oppressive management prerogatives.
“The law is vague and subject to many interpretations. Therefore, many employers tend to demote, transfer, or lay off their employee on the basis of having a relationship with their boss or with their co-employee – particularly those who are not unionized,” he said.
“Though judicial jurisprudences had always been in favour of complainant workers, the DOLE regulation can help minimize employees and management from strained relations and physical, financial and emotional exasperation of going to the courts for those felt injustice,” Tanjusay aid.
In its policy engagement with the DOLE, the ALU-TUCP, however, maintains that company policy should allow, not prevent, workplace romance, period. Workplace romance should not be the cause for dismissal, demotion, transfer, or diminution of wages and benefits.
“The management prerogative’s policy on intra-office workplace romance should not be restrictive. While we respect such prerogative, the most extreme the policy can do is transfer an employee to another division or department,” Tanjusay said.
The ALU-TUCP also maintains that workplace romance company policy only covers the couple’s professional relationship from 8a.m. to 5p.m. office hour period.