(PNA file photo by Oliver Marquez)

MANILA – Workers who sustained injuries or have died while working from home are now entitled to benefits from the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC).

Based on the commission's Board Resolution No. 21-03-09, employees who suffer from disability or death due to injuries sustained while working from home may avail of the benefits under the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP).

“Disability of death due to injuries sustained by the employees while working from home will be compensable under ECP, provided that there is a written directive or order from his or her employer requiring a work-from-home arrangement or the performance of specific tasks within a specified period at the residence or dwelling place of the employee,” part of the resolution said.

ECC executive director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said on Wednesday it is the right time for the commission to issue the policy in recognition of the new and alternative methods of work for employees.

“As the policy arm of the ECP, we want to make sure that our program remains relevant and responsive to the needs of our workers and the demands of the working environment,” she said in a statement.

She added that the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic has pushed industries to rethink their work arrangements, including adopting the work-from-home policy to safeguard the health of their employees and minimize transmission of the disease.

“Employees who are working from home are not exempted from possible work-connected disabilities or death due to injury-related incidents. We need to extend our benefits to cover work-connected injury or death that they may suffer while in the performance of their duties or specific tasks at their residences or dwelling places,” Banawis said.

Under the program, workers who suffer from work-related sickness, injury, or death, are entitled to EC benefits such as loss of income benefits, medical benefits, and death and funeral benefits.

Persons with work-related disabilities may also avail of rehabilitation services under the Katulong at Gabay sa Manggagawang may Kapansanan (KaGabay) program. The rehabilitation services include free physical, speech, or occupational therapy, assistive devices and livelihood training and financial assistance. (PNA)