2-year probation for workers urged

A NEOPHYTE solon is proposing longer probationary period before an employee can qualify for regularization.

Probinsiyano Ako party-list Rep. Jose “Bonito” Singson Jr. suggested in House Bill 4802 that probationary employment should be 24 months or two years instead of six months.

According to Singson, the six-month probationary employment period prescribed under the Labor Code is not enough to assess whether an employee is qualified for regularization, particularly in positions requiring specialized skills and talents.

“This limits the right of the employer to secure quality employees,” Singson said.

“Considering the advent of technological advances in various industries, the probationary employees must undergo a series of developmental training and assessment to ascertain their ability to do the job,” he added.

The solon likewise pointed out that in every stage of the development, the probationary employee must satisfy a set of standards to qualify. These processes demand more time, which in a lot of cases takes more than six months.

He said extending the probationary employment period will allow employees to prove their value to the employer, especially their skills, talents and other qualifications needed for them to be regularized.

In his explanatory note Singson said probationary employees will have a better chance to improve their performance, meet their targets, and learn new skills that will allow them to meet the required standards set by the employer.

The measure is currently pending before the House Committee on Labor and Employment.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) slammed Singson’s proposal saying in a press conference a protracted probationary period would not benefit workers and promote contractualization.

“Instead of actually dapat beneficial, progressive o makatulong sa manggagawang Pilipino, it will actually encourage ‘yung kontraktwalisasyon,” TUCP president Raymond Mendoza lamented.

Besides getting lower pay employees will not enjoy security of tenure and may be fired anytime during the probationary period.

TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay for his part pointed out the benefits that would be denied probationary workers for two years like 13th month pay, Christmas bonus and would be denied the chance to be promoted.