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1. What is the Single Entry Approach (SEnA)?

Single Entry Approach is an administrative approach to provide a speedy, impartial, inexpensive and accessible settlement procedure for all issues/complaints arising from employer-employee relations to prevent them from ripening into full blown disputes. Under this approach, all labor and employment disputes shall undergo a 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation process to effect settlement among the contending parties.

2. What are the issues subject to SEnA?

All issues arising from labor and employment which may include the following:

a) Termination or suspension of employment issues;

b) Claims for any sum of money, regardless of amount;

c) Intra-union and inter-union issues except petition for certification election, after exhaustion of administrative remedies;

d) Unfair labor practices;

e) Closures, retrenchments, redundancies, temporary lay-offs;

f) OFW cases;

g) Occupational safety and health standards issues except those involving imminent danger situation;

h) Issues arising from other labor and related issuances (OLRI)

i) Any other claims arising from employer-employee relationship; and

j) Cases falling under the administrative and quasi-judicial jurisdiction of all DOLE offices and attached agencies, including NLRC.

3. What issues are not covered by SEnA?

The following issues are not covered by SEnA:

a) Notices of strikes or lockouts, or preventive mediation cases which shall remain with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB);

b) Issues arising from the interpretation or implementation of the collective bargaining agreement and those arising from interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies which should be processed through the Grievance Machinery and voluntary arbitration; and

c) Issues involving violations of the following permits, licenses or registrations: (Alien Employment Permit (AEP), PRPA authority or license, Working child permit (WCP) and violations of Republic Act No.9231 (Anti-Child Labor Law), Registration under Department Order No. 18-02, POEA issued licenses under the Migrant Workers’ Act, as amended, Professional license issued by the PRC, TESDA accreditations; and Other similar permits, licenses or registrations issued by the DOLE or its attached agencies).

4. Who may file a case under the SEnA?

Any aggrieved worker, union, group of workers or the employer may file a request for assistance.

5. Where to file or request for SEnA?

Request for SEnA can be filed at the Single Entry Assistance Desk (SEAD) in the region where the employer principally operates. In case of a union or federation representing a local chapter, the request shall be made at the regional/provincial/ district office where the union or local chapter is registered.

6. Where to file labor relations disputes?

Labor relations disputes, particularly illegal dismissals with or without claim for reinstatement, unfair labor practices, strikes and lockouts and claims for damages, shall be filed with the Labor Arbiter of the NLRC-Regional Arbitration Branch.

7. Does the action to question one’s dismissal prescribe?

Yes. The action prescribes after 4 years from the date of termination.

8. What is the period of prescription for ULP acts?

One year from the time the cause of action accrued.

9. Where to file union representation disputes?

Union representation disputes shall be filed at the DOLE Regional Office.

10. Where to file inter/intra-union disputes and cancellation of union registration?

Inter-union and intra-union disputes shall be filed at the DOLE Regional Office or Bureau of Labor Relations.

11. Where to file disputes involving interpretation and implementation of CBA or company personnel policies?

Disputes involving interpretation and implementation of CBA or company personnel policies that are not resolved by the Grievance Machinery shall be filed at the NCMB Regional Branches.

12. Who has the jurisdiction to determine the legality or illegality of strike/lockout?

The Labor Arbiter at the NLRC-Regional Arbitration Branch determines questions involving the legality or illegality of a strike/lockout upon the filing of a proper complaint and after due hearing.

When the issue is of national interest, the Secretary of Labor and Employment may assume jurisdiction or certify the dispute to the NLRC for compulsory arbitration (International Pharmaceuticals, Inc. vs. Secretary of Labor, and Associated Labor Union, 205 SCRA 59, January 9, 1992).

13. May a voluntary arbitrator determine the legality of a strike?

Yes. If the issue is voluntarily and jointly submitted by the parties to voluntary arbitration, the question may be resolved by the voluntary arbitrator or panel of voluntary arbitrators.