HR Hacks: How to Support Staff During the ECQ Lockdown


It’s all about money disbursement.

Management can get money from the four ways:

1. Pro-rated 13th month pay
2. Salary loan with or without interest
3. Financial aid or “free” money. This is also what no work with pay is all about. Or gifting an allowance.
4. Leaves if you have a lot. For us, we only have 5 day SIL so I left this untouched.

I am NOT in favor of giving money that’s not being earned yet like bonus for the next year. Bad idea yan. What if the staff goes AWOL? Staff also hates to be deducted later on. Bad move yan for management if staff AWOLs. The boss will blame the HR because the HR made the call to disburse the money, and the staff no longer showed up to work.

It’s better to give something they’ve already earned, or free money from the hearts of the company. Pag kusang bigay, mas sweet.


Now, think about how many payroll periods to assist employees for. I personally like to split the budget I have based on the payroll periods. In our company, it was:

March 31
April 15
April 30
May 15
May 30

Yes, we are already thinking about extension beyond April 15 and 30 from the first week of ECQ.

If you got CAMP, it subsidizes one payroll period.

I suggest giving money in tranches than a one time big time thing. If you give the money to a staff one time big time, most employees will finish the money immediately. Tapos utang na naman! This is not a solution.

No way. I’m splitting the money so every payroll period, mayroon sila.

For our company, we have divided help by:

March 31: Pro-rated 13th month pay + php3,000 help
April 15: CAMP – php5,000
April 30: Free financial assistance depending on tenure
May 15: Possible free money again
May 30: Definitely salary loan

Our salary loan is zero interest. Pero need to be paid within 3 or 6 months depending on the amount. If tinakbuhan or nag AWOL ang staff, the free money will turn into a salary loan. We will then charge interest per month if you run away.

The terms are clearly written on the promissory note: The financial assistance is FREE, but is conditional to them reporting back to work once the ECQ is lifted. Hassle kasi mag labas ng money para tatakbuhan ka lang. May ganyang klaseng tao. So iwas problema lang.

Our budget kasi cannot pay for no work with full pay. We are a small company. I think that’s also unfair and will put the company in debt afterwards. Sayang din if people go AWOL or immediately resign post ECQ. So for me, “allowance” is best lalo na if money is given freely. Gracia yan.

Allowance = food and grocery money + basic needs for ECQ period lang

Anyway, no need to pay for rent, electricity or utility bills now due to the Bayanihan as One. So just food is most important for workers.

This means a reasonable payout of php2,500-5,000 per cut off only. Anything more is bonus and pang milk tea.

Pag mayaman ka and you want to give over this amount, go. Pero sa akin, save the money for more cut-offs in case the lockdown extends. Anyway, my assumption is my staff is AT HOME, not going out (no pamasahe needed), and only buying basic needs and food. If they have other expenses, bahala na sila. I just don’t want them to go hungry.

Pag bago pa lang, as in wala pang 2 months, huwag muna magbigay ng malaki. I prefer to give more help to those who have been with us longer. Hindi pantay pantay lahat. If you have more budget, give more to those who have been with you longer.

After our announcement, our staff appreciated our pro-active effort. It’s better than no work and talagang zero pay. They know we are not spoiling them and we are not putting them in debt, but they also know we are concerned for their basic needs, which is most important. Lessens the worry too especially if the lockdown gets extended.

If you’re HR, baka pwede mo I-suggest kay boss to. Hindi naman malaki ang hingi. Kahit konti lang, para at least may food ang pamilya and hindi sila mag alala pang araw araw.

Hope this helps.

Disclaimer: We are temporarily closed from March 17 due to the ECQ.

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