Department of Labor and Employment
February 19, 2020
DOLE mandates mental health program in workplaces
Underscoring the importance of promoting workers’ mental health, the labor department has mandated the adoption and implementation of mental health policies and programs in workplaces.
In Department Order No. 208, signed on February 11, 2020, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III provided the guidelines to employers and workers for the effective implementation of mental health policies and programs in accordance with RA11036 or the Mental Health Act.
“The directive hopes to raise further awareness, prevent stigma and discrimination among Filipino workers in as far as mental health conditions are concerned and provide support to workers with mental health issues for them to gain access to medical health services,” Bello said.
He said the directive covers employers in the formal sector, including those that deploy overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
According to the order, an organization’s mental health program shall be prepared jointly by management and employee’s representatives and shall be made an integral part of the company’s occupational safety and health (OSH) policies and programs.
In organized establishments, a mental health program may be included as part of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the department said.
Components of a mental health program shall include advocacy, information, education, training as well as promotion and enhancement of workers’ well-being; non-discriminatory policies and practices; confidentiality of information; disclosure of medical or mental condition;work accommodation and work arrangement; treatment, rehabilitation and referral system; benefits and compensation, among others.
Assistance in the formulation and implementation of the mental health policy and program may be sought from the labor department, Department of Health, and/or organizations rendering mental health services.
Establishments shall submit their respective mental health policy and program to the DOLE regional office having jurisdiction over them, the department also said. ###aldm