HR Talk: How to Apply for Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA), Temporary Closure, Retrenchment and Permanent Closure

According to DOLE Labor Advisory No. 9, Series of 2020, Guidelines on the Implementation of Flexible Work Arrangements as Remedial Measure due to the Ongoing Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019, employers are encouraged to pursue flexible work arrangements so that companies can do social distancing, save cash flow and ensure continuity in case one of our employees tests positive.

Flexible work arrangements

For more details on how the FWA will proceed, I look into Labor Advisory No. 2, Series of 2009, Guidelines on the Adoption of Flexible Work Arrangements:


How to Apply for Flexible Work Arrangement, Temporary Closure, Retrench or Permanent Closure?

WARNING: Never do a Flexible Work Arrangement, Temporary Closure, Retrenchment or Permanent Closure WITHOUT informing DOLE first.

If you will be doing a Flexible Work Arrangement or Laying Off People, please ensure that you inform the DOLE Office closest you ASAP. Here’s the process:

  1. Accomplish the new RKS Form 5 Establishment Report form in two copies when filing a notice of: a) Flexible Work Arrangement; b) Temporary Closure; c) Retrenchment or Reduction of Workforce; or d) Permanent Closure.

IMPORTANT: For FWA, you have to inform ASAP. Prudently, it has to be SEVEN (7) days before you start your FWA. For Retrenchment or Permanent Closure, please inform DOLE and the staff 30 DAYS before their last day.

The report is considered as duly filed when the complete list of workers affected is made part of the submission. Fields with   asterisks (*) should be accomplished by the company representative.

  1. This form should be submitted to the DOLE Provincial/Field Office as soon as possible in the case of adoption of flexible work arrangement or temporary closure.

2.1. For establishments that will retrench or permanently close, the form should be submitted 30 days prior to the effectivity of termination.

  1. Page 1 should contain general information about the establishment and the number of workers affected.
  2. Page 3 should enumerate the names of workers affected, their addresses and contact numbers, position title and salary.

Total number of workers listed should equal the total number of workers affected as reported in this page.

DOLE has released a new RKS Form 5 Establishment Report last June 1, 2020. It looks like this:

RKS Form 1RKS Form 2RKS Form 3Download Form: Revised Establishment Report Form

For email addresses, here’s the details from the DOLE website:


CAMANAVA Field Office (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela)

Address: 5/F Araneta Square Center, Monumento Circle, Caloocan City

Tel. No: (02) 8282-1842, (02) 8283-5044

Telefax: (02) 8367-3188



Makati & Pasay Field Office

Address: 2/F, ECC Building, Sen Gil Puyat Avenue Extension, Makati City

Tel. No: (02) 8772-8210, (02) 8800-7211

Telefax: (02) 8800-7211, (02) 8336-5062



Manila Field Office

Address: 4/F DY International Bldg., 1650 General Malvar corner San Marcelino, Malate, Manila

Tel. No: (02) 8244-1532, (02) 8244-1318

Telefax: (02) 5302-9269, (02) 5302-9270



MUNTAPARLAS Field Office (Muntinlupa, Taguig, Parañaque, Las Piñas)

Address: 3/F No. 263 Valenzuela Building Alabang-Zapote Road Pamplona, Las Piñas City

Tel. No: (02) 8815-0086, (02) 8808-6165

Telefax: (02) 8808-0422



PAPAMAMARISAN Field Office (Pasig, Pateros, Mandaluyong, Marikina, San Juan)

Address: 4/F Rudgen Bldg. II, 317 Shaw. Blvd., Pasig City

Tel. No: (02) 8477-3630

Telefax: (02) 8534-3893



Quezon City Field Office

Address: 4/F Arcadia Bldg. Quezon Avenue, Quezon City

Tel. No: (02) 8921-4973

Telefax: (02) 8376-5983


(Updated as of 11 November 2019)

For other DOLE offices, please Google the DOLE branch closest you.


There’s no deadline as of now, but please send ASAP. So far, DOLE is accepting all forms online. We have tried to submit in the head office but was turned away. They asked us to email the forms instead. Oh well.

Our office has also printed out and attached Labor Advisory No, 9, Series of 2020 on the visible place in the office as per instruction:

Labor Advisory No. 9 2

Labor Advisory No. 09

Retrenchments and Permanent Closure

For Retrenchments, the company must make sure they they follow proper procedure and inform DOLE and the staff 30 days before. Use this form again:RKS Form 1RKS Form 2RKS Form 3Download Form: Revised Establishment Report Form

If you’re going to do Retrenchment, please ensure that you have proof that the company is losing money. Hindi pwedeng laway lang na losing money ha.  

To reiterate, a company CAN and SHOULD terminate your employment for any Just and Authorized Causes as prescribed by the Labor Code so long as there’s really an offense and the company follows due process in firing you. Here are the difference between Just and Authorized Causes:

Just or Authorized Cause for Termination

In Tagalog:

Ngunit alam

You need to know WHY you were terminated. Both Just and Authorized Causes are allowed during ECQ under the following conditions:

  • Just Causes: There must be a valid offense, Twin notice rule and proper due process are followed.
  • Authorized Causes: Company has reported to DOLE that they will cut people, 30 days notice, and payment of severance pay.  Severance pay as follows:

Separation Pay

If you are terminated using the Just and Authorized Causes WITH PROPER DUE PROCESS, wala kang laban sa DOLE.

It’s very clear in Article 298, Authorized Causes of Termination —- For termination due to retrenchment or closure/cessation of operation its one month pay or 1/2 month pay for every year of service whichever is higher.

This is also mentioned in DO 174 series of 2015. The separation pay should never be less than 1 month pay which means 30 working days pay. Lastly, the same is stated in Workers Statutory Financial Benefits Handbook released by DOLE-BLC.

The half month pay per year of service (minimum of 1 month) if the Termination is caused by:

  • Retrenchment to prevent losses
  • Closure of an Establishment not due to Serious Losses (In other words, sinarado lang ang company), or
  • If the Employee is suffering from a disease not curable within the 6 month period.

Half month lang po yan. Hindi full month.

Separation pay may NOT be as big as you think.

So Sir Richard DeDios gave this calculation of the severance of a 22-month tenured employee:

“Ang 22 months is equivalent to 2 years tenure by virtue of the provision that a fraction of 6 months or more is considered 1 year.

Then said employee is only entitled to 1 month separation pay (1/2 per year of service x 2 years). The minimum 1 month applies to those with less than 1.5 years of tenure since they will only be entitled to 1/2 month pay if the entitlement is 1/2 month per year of service”

In short:

1 mo – 2 yrs 5 mos = 1 month pay

2 yrs 6 mos – 3 yrs 5 mos = 1.5 months pay

3 yrs 6 mos – 4 yrs 5 mos = 2 months pay

4 yrs 6 mos – 5 yrs 5 mos = 2.5 months pay

Thank you Sir Richard! ❤️

Full month per year of service naman if pinalitan ka ng machine, or they cut your position, or they can’t reinstate you to your previous position and it’s not the fault of you employer. Once again, here’s the table from NLRC:

Separation Pay

Under the Tax Code of the Philippines, separation fees and benefits in the Philippines are exempted from income tax, and consequently, withholding taxes on compensation for separations from employment because of death, sickness or other physical disability or any other causes beyond employee’s control.

While Retrenchment is a company prerogative, the addendum here is that The losses have to be PROVEN, and there is compliance with the Legal Procedure for Retrenchment:

Compliance with the Legal Procedure for Retrenchment

In order to legally retrench employees, the following must be followed:

(1) Retrenchment is undertaken to prevent losses, which are not merely de minimis, but substantial, serious, actual, and real, or if only expected, are reasonably imminent as perceived objectively and in good faith by the employer;

(2) The employer serves written notices both to the employees and the DOLE at least one month prior to the intended date of retrenchment;

(3) The employer pays the retrenched employees separation pay equivalent to one month pay or at least ½ month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher;

(4) The employer must use fair and reasonable criteria in ascertaining who would be dismissed and retained among the employees; and

(5) The retrenchment must be undertaken in good faith [Ariola v. Philex Mining Corporation (G.R. No. 147756, 09 August  2005)].

Do you get separation pay if you voluntarily resigned?

Unless your boss is super nice, you get ZERO separation pay if the resignation was voluntary. Even if you worked for 25 years, if you resign, your employer is NOT obliged to give you any separation pay UNLESS there was a prior agreement that they would give you one.


“Thus, the elementary rule is that an employee who voluntarily resigns from employment is not entitled to separation pay, except when it is stipulated in the employment contract or Collective Bargaining Agreement or based on established employer practice in the company.”

Payment of Separation Pay should be with Final Pay

If Retrenched or Made Redundant, add Separation Pay to the Final Pay.

FINAL PAY = Unpaid Wages + Pro-Rata 13th Month + Any Liabilities or Benefits promised if Any + Separation Pay if Any

Give this amount to the Employee in exchange for a Quitclaim and Signing of Voucher. Palitan yan para there’s no misunderstandings. No Quitclaim, no release of final pay.

Other Forms Available

Return to Work Establishment Report Form


  1. Accomplish this form in two copies when filing a notice of return to work. The report is considered as duly filed when the complete list of workers affected is made part of the submission. Fields with  asterisks (*) should be accomplished by the company representative.
  1. Page 2 shall enumerate the list of the affected workers and their profile.
  2. This form should be submitted to the DOLE Provincial/Field Office as soon as possible. In the event of the implementation of FWA, TC, or retrenchment, the establishment shall accomplish and submit the RKS Form 5 2020.


Downloadable: Return to Work Establishment Form

Work Accident Form

There’s several pages on this form. Please download the DOLE-BQF-WAIR-with-COVID_final here:


Warning — You have to use the updated form to be considered filed and complete.


Hope this helps. Good luck!


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18 thoughts on “HR Talk: How to Apply for Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA), Temporary Closure, Retrenchment and Permanent Closure

  1. Thank you Tina for a very clear and simple explanation on DOLE guidelines and procedures, very understandable by any worker/employee.

  2. good day. I just want to inquire if it is legal to provide allowances (e.g.) P5000.00 to employees instead of their monthly salary? Employees were willing to adopt the alternative work assignment: wfh or flexi working days as solution to financial hardship of company. We resume operation this June, employees work 6 days a week , 6 hours per day. We ended probationary contracts due to poor performance employees and plan to forced leave some employees by July. The allowance is not enough to compensate their 6 days work and to support their family. Thanks

  3. Hi, Tina! How are you? Re the allowed duration for the Flexible Work Arrangement of 6 months, does this commence upon submission of the Establishment Report to DOLE or from the start of the ECQ?
    Thanks in advance. 🙂

    1. Aaaahhhh good question. Actually this is the gray area. I’m also waiting for the updated balita.

      The true answer is, no clarification yet. I am assuming for my use, from GCQ’s June 1. Since in ECQ, nobody’s allowed to operate. But as I have said, wala pang news regarding this.

      Good question!

  4. hi po. is it allowed to ask employees forced leave when they announced retrenchment? it was announced last aug 17. last day would be sept 30. but during aug 17-sept 30 hr asked employees not to go to work na and will be marked as LWOP. hr said they will just pay 1 month retrencment pay for probi

    1. Actually dapat walang separation pay ang probationary if done properly.

      But law is quiet about the 30 day notice being paid. All it said was notice.

      Assumption was that it was worked so has pay. But if unworked, there is no pay. Yun lang kasi pre-COVID-19, hindi uso ang quarantine and not working kaya laging may pay. Kasi always worked yung araw.

  5. Pede po mag tanong, nag temporary closed po ang company namin. Entitled po b kmi sa separation pay? Or nid p namin antayin ang 6 months until sila mg decide ng permanent closure?

    1. What is the legal basis of “Floating Status”?
      o The legal basis for “Floating Status” is Article 301 of the Labor Code which states the following:

      “The bona fide suspension of the operation of a business or undertaking for a period not exceeding six (6) months, or the fulfillment (sic) by the employee of a military or civic duty shall not terminate employment. In such all cases, the employer shall reinstate the employee to his former position without loss of seniority rights if he indicates his desire to resume his work not later than one (1) month from the resumption of operations of his employer or from his relief from the military or civic duty.”

      When “Floating Status” is not equivalent to dismissal
      o “Off-detailing” or putting an employee on floating status is not equivalent to dismissal, for as long as it does not last for more than six (6) months. After six months, the employee should be recalled for work without loss of seniority rights, or for a new assignment; otherwise, he is deemed terminated.

  6. Hi Tina,

    I hope you’re doing fine.

    I would like to ask regarding DOLE’s process in reporting employees that are under no-work-no-pay policy since the Establishment report does not indicate the NWNP status.

    We have employees who are under NWNP now for months now and we are planning to terminate the contract after 6 months. I also would like to ask what is DOLE’s due process in terminating contracts for employees under NWNP for more than 6 months.

    Hoping for your fast revert.

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Did you fill it up on the RKS Form 5 already?

      To retrench within the 6 month period, the answer is answered on this post — RKS Form 5 to inform DOLE and employee they will be retrenched and paid proper separation pay. Notice must be 30 days notice.

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