Nat’l Labor Relations Commission-NCR shortens conciliation-mediation process to 15 days

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The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Saturday said the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in the National Capital Region (NCR) has bared new rules for the settlement of labor and employment disputes.

In a statement, the DOLE said all individuals who filed their requests for assistance (RFAs) will be covered by the new procedures of the Single Entry Approach (SEnA).

Under the updated NLRC rules, the SEnA conciliator-mediator (SEnA Conmed) may mediate and provide assistance toward settlement within 15 days instead of 30 days upon request of the parties.

Prior to the assistance of the conciliator-mediator, the responding party may submit a settlement proposal based from the claims of the requesting party, according to the DOLE.

If there is no necessity of setting the RFA for conciliation mediation conference, the Conmed may motu proprio, and without need of notice, terminate the SEnA proceedings and issue the referral for compulsory arbitration or to the appropriate agency which has jurisdiction over the issues raised.

The new rules are now in effect, the DOLE said.

Likewise, parties who filed RFAs from March to July 14 this year could now lodge their complaints at concerned regional arbitration branches.

They don’t have to undergo the 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation process to effect settlement among the contending parties, the DOLE said.

Following the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte placing Metro Manila under community quarantine, the NRLC issued COVID-19 advisories last July.

The advisories suspended all face-to-face mediation and conferences under SEnA, thus terminating all RFAs filed during the enhanced and modified enhanced quarantine period.

All the terminated RFAs were referred to compulsory arbitration, according to the DOLE.

Due to health protocols, disruption of Philippine Postal Corporation services and scarce transportation, face-to-face interactions between litigants, lawyers, and NLRC officials and employees were limited during the height of the quarantine period, it added. —Ted Cordero/KG, GMA News

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