MANILA – A measure providing protection for freelancers has been approved by the House of Representatives.
During the plenary session on Thursday, the chamber unanimously approved on final reading House Bill 8817, or the proposed Freelance Workers Protection Act, with 195 affirmative votes, zero negative votes, and zero abstentions.
The bill aims to advance the rights and welfare of freelancers and ensure humane working conditions and a proper living wage.
A freelance worker is defined as any person registered as self-employed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, “hired or retained to provide services in exchange for compensation”.
Under the measure, any hiring party obtaining or retaining the services of a freelance worker shall execute a written contract with such freelance worker before said services are rendered.
The hiring party and the freelance worker shall each retain a signed copy of the contract.
The bill provides that the hazard pay granted to freelancers shall be equivalent to at least 25 percent of the total payment for the period of work deployment unless there is a more favorable fee stipulated in the contract.
Freelance workers who are required to be physically present in the workplace or those on field assignments shall be paid a night shift differential of not less than 10 percent of one’s regular compensation for each hour of work performed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., unless there is a more favorable fee stipulated in the contract.
The bill likewise provides a civil penalty of PHP50,000 to PHP500,000 for unlawful practices under the proposed law, which include paying the compensation due to the freelance worker later than 15 days after the date of payment of compensation stated in the written contract; or requiring as a condition of payment of compensation that a freelance worker accepts less than the specified contract price. (PNA)