Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

DOLE and IT-BPAP Create Action Plan for Contact Centers in Philippines

April 25, 2014

In an effort to change the way employees are treated working in contact centers, the Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz and Hose Mari Mercado, president of the Information Technology-Business Processing Association of the Philippines (IT-BPAP) have been working on a two-year action plan that they are scheduled to sign April 25.

The idea behind the plan came as more people continued to complain to the labor department about how they were working and being treated in the Philippines’ large contact center industry. The new agreement will create new promotions and plans to help employees receive benefits as long as they continue to be compliant within their given center.

“Under the agreement, the Department of Labor and Employment and the IT-BPAP will implement a two-year joint action plan to promote IT-BPM best people practices and voluntary compliance with general labor standards (GLS) and occupational safety and health (OSHS,” reported

“The agreement will kick-off with an orientation of IT-BPAP members on labor law compliance and occupational safety and health standards this April. Both parties shall create a technical working committee (TWG) for the immediate implementation of the action plan until 31 December 2015.”

When you think of a contact center you might not think that poor wages and not mistreatment would be the major concern of employees. However, wages are not what most of the complaints are about. Many of them deal with health-related issues, benefits, and other personnel issues that come with working at a computer, on the phone, or sitting at a desk for an entire shift.

“This action plan is just the beginning of our long-term goal of addressing the real labor relations situation in the BPO industry,” the DOLE chief said. "This is a proactive step to ensure the rights and benefits, including the safety and health, of workers in the information technology and business process management.”

This is not the first time contact center mistreatment and poor working conditions have been brought into question. Here in the United States the Communication Workers of America (CWA) union which represents the interests of many contact center workers pushes for better working conditions and has advocated legislation that would deny taxpayer money going to off shore companies largely to stem the flow of contact center jobs to outsourcing companies in places like the Philippines, but also to call attention to overseas working conditions.  In short, this is a global problem and as the sophistication of contact centers grows and outsourcers look for places to locate how employees are treated is going to remain a hot topic given the need to attract and keep skilled agents.

Edited by Peter Bernstein