FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
on the
Amendment to the Revised Interim Guidelines on the Use of Leave Credits for Absences Due to Quarantine and/or Treatment of COVID-19
(CSC Memorandum Circular No. 2, s. 2022)

 

1. What is CSC Resolution No. 2101122?

This is the Amendment to the Revised Interim Guidelines on the Use of Leave Credits for Absences Due to Quarantine and/or Treatment of COVID-19, promulgated on 31 December 2021.

It was also circularized via CSC Memorandum Circular No. 2, s. 2022 dated 18 January 2022.

This resolution amends the Revised Interim Guidelines on the Use of Leave Credits for Absences Due to Quarantine and/or Treatment Relative to the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-I9) provided under CSC Resolution No. 2000522, circularized via CSC Memorandum Circular No. 8, s. 2020.

 

2. Based on these interim guidelines, what is the definition of excused absence?

Excused absence refers to the period when a government worker is not required to report for work due to required quarantine period, isolation, and/or treatment, and/or announcement of work suspension, but are entitled to pay.

 

3. What is “quarantine” and “required quarantine period”?

Quarantine refers to the separation and movement restrictions of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Hence, quarantine intends to keep individuals under observation to see if they will develop COVID-19 signs or symptoms or if they will test positive for COVID-19.

The required quarantine period is the prevailing number of days prescribed for quarantine per IATF-IED/DOH guidelines.

 

4. What is the “isolation and/or treatment period”?

Isolation refers to the separation of sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Therefore, isolation intends to treat and monitor suspect, probable, and confirmed cases. Treatment is part of the isolation period.

 

5. What was amended in the revised interim guidelines?

The absence from work for every instance of the required quarantine period, isolation, and/or treatment for government workers who are “infected or identified as close contacts of a suspect, probable, and/or confirmed cases of COVID-19 while in the performance of their official functions, (onsite or WFH arrangement)” shall be considered as excused absence. They may be required to adopt a work-from-home arrangement depending on the nature of their work pursuant to the guidelines on alternative work arrangements contained in CSC Memorandum Circular No. 18, s. 2020.

Previously, this provision only applied to public health workers or PHWs.

 

6. In summary, what are considered as excused absence for the duration of the required quarantine period and isolation and/or treatment period?

Official travel - Absences due to exposure or infection incurred from official travel from countries with or without localized COVID-19 transmissions, or from local travel from areas under community quarantine;

Performance of official functions - Absences incurred when the employee is identified as close contacts of a suspect, probable, and/or confirmed cases of COVID-19 while in the performance of official functions, either during onsite or WFH arrangement.

 

7. What are considered as excused absence for the duration of the required quarantine period only?

Personal travel - Absences due to exposure or infection incurred from personal travel. The isolation and/or treatment period shall be charged against leave credits.
Personal activities - Absence from work for every instance of the required quarantine period for government workers who are “infected or identified as close contacts of a suspect, probable, and/or confirmed cases of COVID-19 due to personal activities”. The employee may also be required to adopt a work-from-home arrangement during this period while he or she is observing for symptoms or waiting for swab test results. However, in the event that they become sick, the period of their isolation and/or treatment shall be considered sick leave and charged against their leave credits.

 

8. What are NOT considered as excused absence?

Personal international travel with no travel authority - Absences incurred from undergoing the required quarantine period, isolation, and/or treatment after personal international travel without approved travel authority before or after the declaration of the state of public health emergency due to COVID-19 shall be charged against leave credits.
Personal activities in violation of protocols - Absences incurred from undergoing the required quarantine period, isolation, and/or treatment due to personal activities in violation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging and Infectious Diseases’ protocols, shall also be charged against leave credits.

 

9. What if an employee has no sick leave credits left?

Per the Omnibus Rules on Leave, in the event when employees have exhausted their sick leave credits, the vacation leave credits shall be used instead. If the vacation leave credits are also exhausted, employees may apply for sick leave of absence without pay.

 

10. What are the documents that employees have to submit upon return to work?

- certificate issued by government or private physician that the employee has submitted himself or herself for monitoring;
- certificate of completion of quarantine issued by the local quarantine or health official;
- medical certificate clearing the employee to report back to work and medical records showing COVID-19 treatment;
- copy of RT-PCR result for those infected or identified as close contacts of a suspect, probable, and/or confirmed cases of COVID-19 during performance of their official functions;
- copy of barangay contact tracing form for those infected or identified as close contacts of a suspect, probable, and/or confirmed cases of COVID-19 due to personal activities.

 

11. What are the additional documents that employees from official or personal international and/or local travels need to present?

For official travel:
- Travel authority
- Office Order
- Laboratory test results
- Certificate of appearance (only for local travel)
- Other travel documents

For personal travel:
- Travel authority (only for international travel)
- Laboratory test results
- Waiver
- Other travel documents

 

12. What are the responsibilities of agency heads and human resource management officers (HRMO)?

It is the responsibility of office heads to ensure that efficiency and productivity work standards are met, and that delivery of public service is not prejudiced during the required quarantine, isolation, and/or treatment of concerned officials and employees.

The agency heads through the HRMOs shall monitor the implementation of the use of leave credits for absences due to quarantine, and isolation and/or treatment relative to COVID-19 based on the guidelines.

 

13. What are other HR policies with provisions for excused absences?

• CSC Memorandum Circular No. 23, s. 2020 (Interim Guidelines on Absences of Government Officials and Employees During the Community Quarantine Due to COVID19 Pandemic)

The guidelines allow the filing of excused absence for absences incurred by employees due to the imposition of community quarantine, e.g., being stranded abroad or locally while on official travel or approved personal travel; unable to report for work due to imposition of localized lockdown; unable to report for work due to suspension of public transportation (subject to specific conditions).

• CSC Memorandum Circular No. 16, s. 2021 (Interim Guidelines on Absences of Government Officials and Employees Due to COVID-19 Vaccination and/or Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) of COVID-19 Vaccine)

The issuance provides for the treatment of absences incurred by government officials and employees during the day of the inoculation of COVID-19 vaccine and/or the required treatment or recuperation period from any AEFI of COVID-19 vaccine.