Hazard pay is a compensation given to employees whose work is hazardous or dangerous in nature or report for work in stations or areas where conditions are dangerous such if there is war or active hostilities.
In the Philippines, hazard pay is provided by law to military and police officers (for their vulnerability to physical harm), public health workers (for their susceptibility to disease), public social workers (for the exposure to potential harm e.g. criminals) and some science and technology research personnel (for their potential exposure to deadly conditions such as calamities or radiation). Magna Cartas that stipulate the payment of hazard pay or allowance to that effect to aforementioned employees are enacted into law by congress. At the moment, there are still bills that are under evaluation that try to expand the coverage of the compulsory payment of hazard pay such as the hazard pay for teachers who are assigned in risky areas or regions like Maguindanao or in the mountain provinces.
In the case of the call center industry in the Philippines, the provision for hazard pays is just a matter of practice. Hazard pay for call center agents is not mandated by law. What is mandatory is the night shift differential pay as provided by the Philippine labor code which must be given to employees who work between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
However, some call center companies voluntarily give “hazard pay” to employees as a form of incentive to agents working at nightshift in recognition of the physical hardship and distress involved in working at night and changing one’s normal biological clock. Working at night also makes agents more vulnerable to be victims of criminal activities that usually happen at night.