13th Month Pay:Revised Guidelines And Implementations

The 13th month pay is one of the things employees look forward to as the holiday season approaches. While most employees still need to wait for a few months to get their 13th month pay, it still pays to be aware of how it is calculated. It is no surprise that there are some employees who are still filing disputes because of receiving the wrong amount of 13th month pay or being taxed for the amount considered to be non-taxable. Here is the basic information on 13th month pay you need to obtain.

Amount and payment of 13th Month Pay

(a)  Minimum of the Amount. — The minimum 13th month pay required by law shall not be less than one-twelfth of the total basic salary earned by an employee within a calendar year. For the year 1987, the computation of the 13th month pay shall include the cost of living allowances (COLA) integrated into the basic salary of a covered employee pursuant to Executive Order 178.

E.O. No. 178 provides, among other things, that the P9.00 of the daily COLA of P17.00 for non-agricultural workers shall be integrated into the basic pay of covered employees effective 1 May 1987, and the remaining P8.00 effective 1 October 1987. For establishments with less than 30 employees and paid-up capital of P500,000 or less, the integration of COLAs shall be as follows: P4.50 effective on 1 May 1987; P4.50 on 1 October 1987; and P8.00 effective 1 January 1988. Thus, in the computation of the 13th month pay for 1987, the COLAs integrated into the basic pay shall be included as of the date of their integration.

Where the total P17.00 daily COLA was integrated effective 1 May 1987 or earlier the inclusion of said COLA as part of the of the basic pay for the purpose of computing the 13th month pay shall be reckoned from the date of actual integration.

The "basic salary" of an employee for the purpose of computing the 13th month pay shall include all remunerations or earning paid by this employer for services rendered but does not include allowances and monetary benefits which are not considered or integrated as part of the regular or basic salary, such as the cash equivalent of unused vacation and sick leave credits, overtime, premium, night differential and holiday pay, and cost-of-living allowances. However, these salary-related benefits should be included as part of the basic salary in the computation of the 13th month pay if by individual or collective agreement, company practice or policy, the same are treated as part of the basic salary of the employees.

(b)  Time of Payment. — The required 13th month pay shall be paid not later than December 24 of each year. An employer, however, may give to his employees one half (½) of the required 13th month pay before the opening of the regular school year and the other half on before the 24th of December of every year. The frequency of payment of this monetary benefit may be the subject of agreement between the employer and the recognized/collective bargaining agent of the employees.

5.  13th Month Pay for Certain Types of Employees.

(a)  Employees Paid by Results. — Employees who are paid on piece work basis are by law entitled to the 13th month pay.

Employees who are paid a fixed or guaranteed wage plus commission are also entitled to the mandated 13th month pay, based on their total earnings during the calendar year, i.e., on both their fixed or guaranteed wage and commission.

(b)  Those with Multiple Employers. — Government employees working part time in a private enterprise, including private educational institutions, as well as employees working in two or more private firms, whether on full or part time basis, are entitled to the required 13th month pay from all their private employers regardless of their total earnings from each or all their employers.

(c)  Private School Teachers. — Private school teachers, including faculty members of universities and colleges, are entitled to the required 13th month pay, regardless of the number of months they teach or are paid within a year, if they have rendered service for at least one (1) month within a year.

6.  13th Month Pay of Resigned or Separated Employee.

An employee who has resigned or whose services were terminated at any time before the time for payment of the 13th month pay is entitled to this monetary benefit in proportion to the length of time he worked during the year, reckoned from the time he started working during the calendar year up to the time of his resignation or termination from the service. Thus, if he worked only from January up to September his proportionate 13th month pay should be equivalent of 1/12 his total basic salary he earned during that period.

The payment of the 13th month pay may be demanded by the employee upon the cessation of employer-employee relationship. This is consistent with the principle of equity that as the employer can require the employee to clear himself of all liabilities and property accountability, so can the employee demand the payment of all benefits due him upon the termination of the relationship.

7.  Non-inclusion in Regular Wage.

The mandated 13th month pay need not be credited as part of regular wage of employees for purposes of determining overtime and premium pays, fringe benefits insurance fund, Social Security, Medicare and private retirement plans.

8.  Prohibitions against reduction or elimination of benefits.
Nothing herein shall be construed to authorize any employer to eliminate, or diminish in any way, supplements, or other employee benefits or favorable practice being enjoyed by the employee at the time of promulgation of this issuance.

Pinoy Attorney

Written by : Pinoy Attorney