Compassion in the Heart

This may sound weird coming from a HR standpoint, but I truly wonder why there is no regulation for bereavement leave policy in the labor code of Philippines. Trumped by one of the employees whose mother just passed away, is there no sense of empathy for the employees? Though as much as I want to extend a helping hand to this colleague, there is pretty much nothing that I can do other than words of condolences and assisting in the application for time off to take care of her mum’s funeral matters.

It is never easy being a HR professional. On one hand, we need to abide by the company’s policies and regulations, on the other hand, we need to consider the emotional impact on the employees. Knowing that the policy has been structured to protect the best interest of the company, this is also the standpoint that I took when attempting to change the policy towards bereavement leave.

Although company always takes the stand that personal matters should never be mixed with work, how can an employee not be affected by her personal matters especially when it is a life and death matter? Instead of showing the company’s empathy towards the employee providing necessary assistance and building a stronger relationship, we are sending a message to the employee that your personal matters has nothing to do with the company and we are not obliged to provide you with bereavement leave to attend to your family matters. We are simply telling the employee that we only have a transaction relationship, we pay for your services and that’s it. Likewise, this will be the same kind of mentality that the employee undertake while working. However my efforts were not successful.

The company has decided to stick to its no compassionate leave policy. Besides the labor code of Philippines does not require companies to provide such leave benefits to the employees, leaving such benefit to the company’s prerogative. Furthermore, regulated leave benefits in the Philippines is only 5 days. How will that be enough? Hopefully during Duterte’s administration, we will see some positive changes.

Update: After months of deliberating with the company and discussion and meeting, we finally have a bereavement leave policy that allows the employee to take 5 days of leave to attend the funeral of immediate family members including the grandparents. However, only regular employees are entitled to the bereavement leave. For probationary employees, they can still take the 5 days of leave but if they are not able to meet the standard to become a regular employee, then the 5 days will be deducted from the salary.