Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said more than 2 million workers are in “floating status” due to forced leave or the company has temporarily closed.
At the Laging Handa press briefing, Labor Undersecretary Benjo Benavidez said that more than 2 million workers came from about 96,000 establishments.
“Sila po iyong mga manggagawa na either na-forced leave o kaya iyong kanilang mga kumpanya ay nag-temporarily close. Dahil po doon, sila pong mga manggagawa ay naka-floating status,” said Benavidez.
Benavidez also said the law allows floating status, but it should not exceed six months.
If the floating workers cannot be returned, they will have to be retrenched and given separation pay.
If a company would not provide a separation pay, the retrenched workers could file a case before the DOLE.
But Benavidez also added that the DOLE recently issued a decree which allows employers and workers to extend the floating status based on their agreement.
Benavidez explained that they believe the economy will recover, and more factories and offices will return to operations. Hence, the DOLE allowed the extension of the floating status.
Over 2 million workers in ‘floating’ status – DOLE
Unemployment decreased further in October to 3.3 million from a record-high 7.2 million last April as the economy slowly recovers from the crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa reported Thursday that the unemployment rate of 8.7% was recorded in October. This is equivalent to 3.8 million adult Filipinos without jobs or a source of income during the period.
“[Nasa] 3.8 milyong Pilipino na nasa labor force ay walang trabaho o negosyo nitong nakaraang October 2020. Ito ay mas mataas ng 1.8 milyon kaysa sa bilang noong October 2019 na nasa 2.0 milyong indibidwal na walang trabaho o negosyo,” Mapa said, citing the results of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) July 2020 Labor Force Survey.
In July, PSA reported the country’s unemployment rate rose to 17.7 percent or equivalent to 7.3 million Filipinos displaced due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Last April, the unemployment rate was way too high compared with 5.3% in the January 2020 survey and 5.1% in April 2019.