Philippines: Employers’ duty for mental healthcare expanded

Depressed young woman sitting on stairs outdoors, city, steps, individual, teen, girl, thinking

Private sector employers, including organizations that deploy Filipino nationals to work abroad, must publish a "mental health workplace policy and program" to raise awareness, promote well-being, prevent discrimination and provide support for employees with mental health issues, under Department of Labor and Employment guidelines effective 26 Feb 2020.

Highlights

  • Company mental health policies must be jointly prepared by management and workers’ representatives and could be incorporated into collective bargaining agreements, where appropriate. 
  • Mental health programs must include advocacy, information, education and training, as well as the enhancement of employees’ well-being. This includes non-discriminatory policies and practices; confidentiality of information; disclosure of medical or mental condition by employees to their employers; recordkeeping and confidentiality; reasonable accommodations to support employees with mental health conditions (such as flexible leave arrangements and work hours); treatment, rehabilitation and referral through the company’s assistance program and any other mental health programs; monitoring and evaluation; and benefits and compensation, among other elements.
  • Company health policies should specify counseling arrangements for employees with mental health conditions, as well as counseling arrangements for families or groups impacted by those employees. Payment of diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation of employees with mental health conditions will be determined by the current health benefit packages under PhilHealth, the Employees’ Compensation Committee or the social security system. Companies using third party healthcare providers should ensure that mental health services are included in their health packages.
Pauline Cardenas
by Pauline Cardenas

Business Control and Risk Officer, Mercer Health

Fiona Webster
by Fiona Webster

Principal, Mercer’s Law & Policy Group

Stephanie Rosseau
by Stephanie Rosseau

Principal, Mercer’s Law & Policy Group

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