Guidelines for the Implementation of Mental Health Workplace Policies and Programs for the Private Sector

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued on 03 March 2020 “Guidelines for the Implementation of Mental Health Workplace Policies and Programs” (“Guidelines”) which shall apply to all workplaces and establishments in the formal sector including those which deploy Overseas Filipino Workers.

The Guidelines mandates all workplaces and establishments to formulate a Mental Health Workplace Policy and Program to raise awareness, prevent stigma and discrimination, provide support to workers who are at risk and/or with mental health condition and facilitate access to medical health services.

The Mental Health Workplace Policy and Program shall be jointly prepared by the management and workers’ representatives and made an integral part of the company’s occupational safety and health (OSH) policies and programs. The employers shall be responsible for implementation and monitoring of the Mental Health Workplace Policies and Programs and may seek assistance in the formulation and implementation thereof from DOLE, Department of Health (DOH), and/or organizations rendering mental health services, and are required to ensure that they provide necessary training to the OSH personnel and Human Resource Officers who will develop, implement and monitor the mental health and workplace policies and programs.

The Mental Health Workplace Policy and Program shall include:

  1. Advocacy, Information, Education, and Training where all workers shall be provided basic information and education on mental health.
  2. Promotion and enhancement of workers’ well-being to have healthy and productive liveswhich shall include identification and management of work-related stress and stressors, including interpersonal issues with superiors, subordinates, co-employees, clients and customers.
  3. Social Policy which details non-discriminatory policies and practices, confidentiality, disclosure, work accommodation and work arrangement.
  4. Treatment, Rehabilitation and Referral System which provides the referral procedures for treatment modalities and rehabilitation through DOH-licensed/ accredited/ recognized mental health facilities or mental health service provider.
  5. Benefits and Compensation which shall provide measures in determining the appropriate compensation for the diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation of a worker with mental health condition in their respective current health benefit packages under PhilHealth, ECC, SSS, or third-party healthcare providers, whichever is applicable.
  6. Support Mechanism Program which shall provide mechanism for access to counseling of workers with mental issues or for counseling services which may be extended to the families and groups who are dealing with workers with mental issues.

The Mental Health Workplace Policy and Program shall be submitted to the DOLE Regional Office having jurisdiction over the company as part of compliance with OSH Programs pursuant to DO 198, and shall be reviewed and evaluated annually or as necessary to ensure its effective implementation.

Violations of the Guidelines shall be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of existing labor laws and regulations, particularly RA No. 11058, as may be applicable.

Click hereto read the entire text of RA No. 11058 (An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards and Providing Penalties of Violations Thereof) and hereto read its Implementing Rules and Regulations. Click hereto read Department Order No. 208 Series of 2020.

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