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Attorneys of the Philippines Legal News

Welcome to our legal news pages. Here is where we provide updates about what's happening in Philippines legal news, and publish helpful articles and tips for Pinoys researching legal matters.

Suspended Employee Is Not Entitled To Pay

An employee who has been cited for violating the code of conduct will be placed under preventive suspension while the investigation is ongoing. One question raised is if the suspended employee will still receive his/her salary during the suspension. Preventive suspension temporarily removes an employee who has violated company rules from his or her position. An employer has the right to suspend an employee while the incident is still being investigated. This is in accordance with the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code of the Philippines. 

Section 8. Preventive suspension. The employer may place the worker concerned under preventive suspension only if his continued employment poses a serious and imminent threat to the life or property of the employer or of his co-workers.

Section 9. Period of suspension. No preventive suspension shall last longer than thirty (30) days. The employer shall thereafter reinstate the worker in his former or in a substantially equivalent position or the employer may extend the period of suspension provided that during the period of extension, he pays the wages and other benefits due to the worker. In such case, the worker shall not be bound to reimburse the amount paid to him during the extension if the employer decides, after completion of the hearing, to dismiss the worker.

Under the rule, the maximum period of preventive suspension is 30 days. The employee must be reinstated to his former position, but if the employer does not want to reinstate the employee, they can choose to extend the suspension period provided the employer agrees to pay the wages and other benefits during the entire period of extension. 

It must also be noted that a suspended employee is not entitled to payment of wages. However, the validity of the suspension must also be taken into account. In case the suspension has been perceived to be illegal or invalid, the employee will still be entitled to payment of wages during the entire duration of the illegal suspension. 

Authorized Causes For The Dismissal Of An Employee

The illegal dismissal of an employee is one of the most common labor cases filed in the Philippines. Termination of employment should undergo due process. The processes include notice of dismissal, which requires employers to furnish a written notice stating grounds for the employees' dismissal. The employee will be given a chance to answer the allegations within a reasonable period. Once the employer receives the answer from the employee, the employer may provide an opportunity to the employee to defend themselves. After the hearing, the notice of decision will be released stating reasons for the dismissal. The notice of decision will be in writing. The final step will be the submission of the  report on dismissal to the regional office. 

Just Causes For The Dismissal Of An Employee

As stated under 282 of the Labor Code, an employer has the right to terminate an employment for the following reasons:

(a) Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work;

(b) Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties;

(c) Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer or duly authorized representative;

(d) Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or his duly authorized representatives; and

(e) Other causes analogous to the foregoing.

Aside from the aforementioned causes, employment may also be terminated due to  "installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice on the workers and the Ministry of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. In case of termination due to the installation of labor-saving devices or redundancy, the worker affected thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at least his one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of establishment or undertaking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses, the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered one (1) whole year."

Dismissed employees are not entitled to separation pay if the cause for dismissal falls under any of the five circumstances stated under Article 282. However, if termination of employment was due to the installation of labor-saving devices or redundancy, the employee shall be entitled to a separation pay. 

Are Dismissed Workers Entitled To Certificate Of Employment?

A certificate of employment (COE) is proof of previous employment. Whether you have resigned or have been terminated, you are still entitled to certificates of employment. Some companies require applicants to secure a COE as part of the pre-employment process.  Under Section 10, Rule 14, Book 5 of the Labor Code, dismissed workers are entitled to request or receive a certificate from his/her employer. The certificate shall specify the dates of the employee's engagement and termination, types of work on which he/she was employed. You need to be cleared by the company before you can request for a COE.  Aside from refusal to provide COE to dismissed workers, DOLE will also entertain complaints on unfair labor practices:

UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES OF EMPLOYERS

Art. 248. Unfair labor practices of employers. It shall be unlawful for an employer to commit any of the following unfair labor practice:

  1. To interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their right to self-organization;
  2. To require as a condition of employment that a person or an employee shall not join a labor organization or shall withdraw from one to which he belongs;
  3. To contract out services or functions being performed by union members when such will interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights to self-organization;
  4. To initiate, dominate, assist or otherwise interfere with the formation or administration of any labor organization, including the giving of financial or other support to it or its organizers or supporters;
  5. To discriminate in regard to wages, hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment in order to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization. Nothing in this Code or in any other law shall stop the parties from requiring membership in a recognized collective bargaining agent as a condition for employment, except those employees who are already members of another union at the time of the signing of the collective bargaining agreement. Employees of an appropriate bargaining unit who are not members of the recognized collective bargaining agent may be assessed a reasonable fee equivalent to the dues and other fees paid by members of the recognized collective bargaining agent, if such non-union members accept the benefits under the collective bargaining agreement: Provided, that the individual authorization required under Article 242, paragraph (o) of this Code shall not apply to the non-members of the recognized collective bargaining agent;
  6. To dismiss, discharge or otherwise prejudice or discriminate against an employee for having given or being about to give testimony under this Code;
  7. To violate the duty to bargain collectively as prescribed by this Code;
  8. To pay negotiation or attorney’s fees to the union or its officers or agents as part of the settlement of any issue in collective bargaining or any other dispute; or
  9. To violate a collective bargaining agreement.

The provisions of the preceding paragraph notwithstanding, only the officers and agents of corporations, associations or partnerships who have actually participated in, authorized or ratified unfair labor practices shall be held criminally liable. (As amended by Batas Pambansa Bilang 130, August 21, 1981)

What Are The Prohibitions Of Wages?

Both employers and employees must be aware of prohibitions regarding wages including the time and form of payment. Many salary disputes happen because the law on minimum wage rates are not properly discussed. Everything you need to know about wage rates is explained on the Labor Code of the Philippines. 

MINIMUM WAGE RATES

Art. 99. Regional minimum wages. The minimum wage rates for agricultural and non-agricultural employees and workers in each and every region of the country shall be those prescribed by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards. (As amended by Section 3, Republic Act No. 6727, June 9, 1989).

Art. 100. Prohibition against elimination or diminution of benefits. Nothing in this Book shall be construed to eliminate or in any way diminish supplements, or other employee benefits being enjoyed at the time of promulgation of this Code.

Art. 101. Payment by results.

The Secretary of Labor and Employment shall regulate the payment of wages by results, including pakyao, piecework, and other non-time work, in order to ensure the payment of fair and reasonable wage rates, preferably through time and motion studies or in consultation with representatives of workers’ and employers’ organizations.

PAYMENT OF WAGES

Art. 102. Forms of payment. No employer shall pay the wages of an employee by means of promissory notes, vouchers, coupons, tokens, tickets, chits, or any object other than legal tender, even when expressly requested by the employee.

Payment of wages by check or money order shall be allowed when such manner of payment is customary on the date of effectivity of this Code, or is necessary because of special circumstances as specified in appropriate regulations to be issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment or as stipulated in a collective bargaining agreement.

Art. 103. Time of payment. Wages shall be paid at least once every two (2) weeks or twice a month at intervals not exceeding sixteen (16) days. If on account of force majeure or circumstances beyond the employer’s control, payment of wages on or within the time herein provided cannot be made, the employer shall pay the wages immediately after such force majeure or circumstances have ceased. No employer shall make payment with less frequency than once a month.

The payment of wages of employees engaged to perform a task which cannot be completed in two (2) weeks shall be subject to the following conditions, in the absence of a collective bargaining agreement or arbitration award:

That payments are made at intervals not exceeding sixteen (16) days, in proportion to the amount of work completed;

That final settlement is made upon completion of the work.

Art. 104. Place of payment. Payment of wages shall be made at or near the place of undertaking, except as otherwise provided by such regulations as the Secretary of Labor and Employment may prescribe under conditions to ensure greater protection of wages.

Art. 105. Direct payment of wages. Wages shall be paid directly to the workers to whom they are due, except:

In cases of force majeure rendering such payment impossible or under other special circumstances to be determined by the Secretary of Labor and Employment in appropriate regulations, in which case, the worker may be paid through another person under written authority given by the worker for the purpose; or

Where the worker has died, in which case, the employer may pay the wages of the deceased worker to the heirs of the latter without the necessity of intestate proceedings. The claimants, if they are all of age, shall execute an affidavit attesting to their relationship to the deceased and the fact that they are his heirs, to the exclusion of all other persons. If any of the heirs is a minor, the affidavit shall be executed on his behalf by his natural guardian or next-of-kin. The affidavit shall be presented to the employer who shall make payment through the Secretary of Labor and Employment or his representative. The representative of the Secretary of Labor and Employment shall act as referee in dividing the amount paid among the heirs. The payment of wages under this Article shall absolve the employer of any further liability with respect to the amount paid.

Art. 106. Contractor or subcontractor. Whenever an employer enters into a contract with another person for the performance of the former’s work, the employees of the contractor and of the latter’s subcontractor, if any, shall be paid in accordance with the provisions of this Code.

In the event that the contractor or subcontractor fails to pay the wages of his employees in accordance with this Code, the employer shall be jointly and severally liable with his contractor or subcontractor to such employees to the extent of the work performed under the contract, in the same manner and extent that he is liable to employees directly employed by him.

The Secretary of Labor and Employment may, by appropriate regulations, restrict or prohibit the contracting-out of labor to protect the rights of workers established under this Code. In so prohibiting or restricting, he may make appropriate distinctions between labor-only contracting and job contracting as well as differentiations within these types of contracting and determine who among the parties involved shall be considered the employer for purposes of this Code, to prevent any violation or circumvention of any provision of this Code.

There is "labor-only" contracting where the person supplying workers to an employer does not have substantial capital or investment in the form of tools, equipment, machineries, work premises, among others, and the workers recruited and placed by such person are performing activities which are directly related to the principal business of such employer. In such cases, the person or intermediary shall be considered merely as an agent of the employer who shall be responsible to the workers in the same manner and extent as if the latter were directly employed by him.

Art. 107. Indirect employer. The provisions of the immediately preceding article shall likewise apply to any person, partnership, association or corporation which, not being an employer, contracts with an independent contractor for the performance of any work, task, job or project.

Art. 108. Posting of bond. An employer or indirect employer may require the contractor or subcontractor to furnish a bond equal to the cost of labor under contract, on condition that the bond will answer for the wages due the employees should the contractor or subcontractor, as the case may be, fail to pay the same.

Art. 109. Solidary liability. The provisions of existing laws to the contrary notwithstanding, every employer or indirect employer shall be held responsible with his contractor or subcontractor for any violation of any provision of this Code. For purposes of determining the extent of their civil liability under this Chapter, they shall be considered as direct employers.

Art. 110. Worker preference in case of bankruptcy. In the event of bankruptcy or liquidation of an employer’s business, his workers shall enjoy first preference as regards their wages and other monetary claims, any provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding. Such unpaid wages and monetary claims shall be paid in full before claims of the government and other creditors may be paid. (As amended by Section 1, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989)

Art. 111. Attorney’s fees.

In cases of unlawful withholding of wages, the culpable party may be assessed attorney’s fees equivalent to ten percent of the amount of wages recovered.

It shall be unlawful for any person to demand or accept, in any judicial or administrative proceedings for the recovery of wages, attorney’s fees which exceed ten percent of the amount of wages recovered.

PROHIBITIONS REGARDING WAGES

Art. 112. Non-interference in disposal of wages. No employer shall limit or otherwise interfere with the freedom of any employee to dispose of his wages. He shall not in any manner force, compel, or oblige his employees to purchase merchandise, commodities or other property from any other person, or otherwise make use of any store or services of such employer or any other person.

Art. 113. Wage deduction. No employer, in his own behalf or in behalf of any person, shall make any deduction from the wages of his employees, except:

In cases where the worker is insured with his consent by the employer, and the deduction is to recompense the employer for the amount paid by him as premium on the insurance. 

For union dues, in cases where the right of the worker or his union to check-off has been recognized by the employer or authorized in writing by the individual worker concerned; and

In cases where the employer is authorized by law or regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

Art. 114. Deposits for loss or damage. No employer shall require his worker to make deposits from which deductions shall be made for the reimbursement of loss of or damage to tools, materials, or equipment supplied by the employer, except when the employer is engaged in such trades, occupations or business where the practice of making deductions or requiring deposits is a recognized one, or is necessary or desirable as determined by the Secretary of Labor and Employment in appropriate rules and regulations.

Art. 115. Limitations. No deduction from the deposits of an employee for the actual amount of the loss or damage shall be made unless the employee has been heard thereon, and his responsibility has been clearly shown.

Art. 116. Withholding of wages and kickbacks prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, to withhold any amount from the wages of a worker or induce him to give up any part of his wages by force, stealth, intimidation, threat or by any other means whatsoever without the worker’s consent.

Art. 117. Deduction to ensure employment. It shall be unlawful to make any deduction from the wages of any employee for the benefit of the employer or his representative or intermediary as consideration of a promise of employment or retention in employment.

Art. 118. Retaliatory measures. It shall be unlawful for an employer to refuse to pay or reduce the wages and benefits, discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee who has filed any complaint or instituted any proceeding under this Title or has testified or is about to testify in such proceedings.

Art. 119. False reporting. It shall be unlawful for any person to make any statement, report, or record filed or kept pursuant to the provisions of this Code knowing such statement, report or record to be false in any material respect.

Domestic Workers Are Entitled To Social Benefits

Domestic workers or also referred to as "kasambahay" are very common in a Filipino household. They take care of chores, run errands and look after children when both parents are working. This is why it is only imperative that they get social benefits as no amount of money can repay their dedication, commitment and kindness. The Republic Act of 10361 protects the welfare of domestic workers. Entitlement to social benefits is one of the terms and conditions that the employer should fulfill when hiring domestic workers according to this law. 

EMPLOYMENT – TERMS AND CONDITIONS

SEC. 19. Health and Safety. – The employer shall safeguard the health and safety of the domestic worker in accordance with laws, rules and regulations, with due consideration of the peculiar nature of domestic work.

SEC. 20. Daily Rest Period. – The domestic worker shall be entitled to an aggregate daily rest period of eight (8) hours per day.

SEC. 21. Weekly Rest Period. – The domestic worker shall be entitled to at least twenty-four (24) consecutive hours of rest in a week. The employer and the domestic worker shall agree in writing on the schedule of the weekly rest day of the domestic worker: Provided, That the employer shall respect the preference of the domestic worker as to the weekly rest day when such preference is based on religious grounds. Nothing in this provision shall deprive the domestic worker and the employer from agreeing to the following:

(a) Offsetting a day of absence with a particular rest day;

(b) Waiving a particular rest day in return for an equivalent daily rate of pay;

(c) Accumulating rest days not exceeding five (5) days; or

(d) Other similar arrangements.

SEC. 22. Assignment to Nonhousehold Work. – No domestic worker shall be assigned to work in a commercial, industrial or agricultural enterprise at a wage rate lower than that provided for agricultural or nonagricultural workers. In such cases, the domestic worker shall be paid the applicable minimum wage.

SEC. 23. Extent of Duty. – The domestic worker and the employer may mutually agree for the former to temporarily perform a task that is outside the latter’s household for the benefit of another household. However, any liability that will be incurred by the domestic worker on account of such arrangement shall be borne by the original employer. In addition, such work performed outside the household shall entitle the domestic worker to an additional payment of not less than the existing minimum wage rate of a domestic worker. It shall be unlawful for the original employer to charge any amount from the said household where the service of the domestic worker was temporarily performed.

SEC 24. Minimum Wage. – The minimum wage of domestic workers shall not be less than the following:

(a) Two thousand five hundred pesos (P2,500.00) a month for those employed in the National Capital Region (NCR);

(b) Two thousand pesos (P2,000.00) a month for those employed in chartered cities and first class municipalities; and

(c) One thousand five hundred pesos (P1,500.00) a month for those employed in other municipalities.

After one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act, and periodically thereafter, the Regional Tripartite and Productivity Wage Boards (RTPWBs) shall review, and if proper, determine and adjust the minimum wage rates of domestic workers.

SEC 25. Payment of Wages. – Payment of wages shall be made on time directly to the domestic worker to whom they are due in cash at least once a month. The employer, unless allowed by the domestic worker through a written consent, shall make no deductions from the wages other than that which is mandated by law. No employer shall pay the wages of a domestic worker by means of promissory notes, vouchers, coupons, tokens, tickets, chits, or any object other than the cash wage as provided for under this Act.

The domestic worker is entitled to a thirteenth month pay as provided for by law.

SEC. 26. Pay Slip. – The employer shall at all times provide the domestic worker with a copy of the pay slip containing the amount paid in cash every pay day, and indicating all deductions made, if any. The copies of the pay slip shall be kept by the employer for a period of three (3) years.

SEC. 27. Prohibition on Interference in the Disposal of Wages. – It shall be unlawful for the employer to interfere with the freedom of any domestic worker to dispose of the latter’s wages. The employer shall not force, compel or oblige the domestic worker to purchase merchandise, commodities or other properties from the employer or from any other person, or otherwise make use of any store or services of such employer or any other person.

SEC 28. Prohibition Against Withholding of Wages. – It shall be unlawful for an employer, directly or indirectly, to withhold the wages of the domestic worker. If the domestic worker leaves without any justifiable reason, any unpaid salary for a period not exceeding fifteen (15) days shall be forfeited. Likewise, the employer shall not induce the domestic worker to give up any part of the wages by force, stealth, intimidation, threat or by any other means whatsoever.

SEC. 29. Leave Benefits. – A domestic worker who has rendered at least one (1) year of service shall be entitled to an annual service incentive leave of five (5) days with pay: Provided, That any unused portion of said annual leave shall not be cumulative or carried over to the succeeding years. Unused leaves shall not be convertible to cash.

SEC. 30. Social and Other Benefits. – A domestic worker who has rendered at least one (1) month of service shall be covered by the Social Security System (SSS), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG, and shall be entitled to all the benefits in accordance with the pertinent provisions provided by law.

Premium payments or contributions shall be shouldered by the employer. However, if the domestic worker is receiving a wage of Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) and above per month, the domestic worker shall pay the proportionate share in the premium payments or contributions, as provided by law.

The domestic worker shall be entitled to all other benefits under existing laws.

SEC. 31. Rescue and Rehabilitation of Abused Domestic Workers. – Any abused or exploited domestic worker shall be immediately rescued by a municipal or city social welfare officer or a social welfare officer from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in coordination with the concerned barangay officials. The DSWD and the DILG shall develop a standard operating procedure for the rescue and rehabilitation of abused domestic workers, and in coordination with the DOLE, for possible subsequent job placement.

Authorized Causes of Termination

In a country where increasing unemployment rate continues to be one of the issues that the government is trying to address, people struggle to put food on their plate by securing a regular full-time job. Unfortunately, not everyone can guarantee a job that pays the bills and provides food for the family. Due to labor laws, some workers are employed for a short period of time only. Even if you are only a project-based employee, it is imperative that you are aware of the different causes of termination of employment. 

Termination of Employment

Art. 279. Security of tenure. In cases of regular employment, the employer shall not terminate the services of an employee except for a just cause or when authorized by this Title. An employee who is unjustly dismissed from work shall be entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and to his full backwages, inclusive of allowances, and to his other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to the time of his actual reinstatement. (As amended by Section 34, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989)

Art. 280. Regular and casual employment. The provisions of written agreement to the contrary notwithstanding and regardless of the oral agreement of the parties, an employment shall be deemed to be regular where the employee has been engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer, except where the employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking the completion or termination of which has been determined at the time of the engagement of the employee or where the work or service to be performed is seasonal in nature and the employment is for the duration of the season.

An employment shall be deemed to be casual if it is not covered by the preceding paragraph: Provided, That any employee who has rendered at least one year of service, whether such service is continuous or broken, shall be considered a regular employee with respect to the activity in which he is employed and his employment shall continue while such activity exists.

Art. 281. Probationary employment. Probationary employment shall not exceed six (6) months from the date the employee started working, unless it is covered by an apprenticeship agreement stipulating a longer period. The services of an employee who has been engaged on a probationary basis may be terminated for a just cause or when he fails to qualify as a regular employee in accordance with reasonable standards made known by the employer to the employee at the time of his engagement. An employee who is allowed to work after a probationary period shall be considered a regular employee.

Art. 282. Termination by employer. An employer may terminate an employment for any of the following causes:

  1. Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work;
  2. Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties;
  3. Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer or duly authorized representative;
  4. Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or his duly authorized representatives; and
  5. Other causes analogous to the foregoing.

Art. 283. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to the installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice on the workers and the Ministry of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. In case of termination due to the installation of labor-saving devices or redundancy, the worker affected thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at least his one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of establishment or undertaking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses, the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered one (1) whole year.

Art. 284. Disease as ground for termination. An employer may terminate the services of an employee who has been found to be suffering from any disease and whose continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his health as well as to the health of his co-employees: Provided, That he is paid separation pay equivalent to at least one (1) month salary or to one-half (1/2) month salary for every year of service, whichever is greater, a fraction of at least six (6) months being considered as one (1) whole year.

Art. 285. Termination by employee.

1. An employee may terminate without just cause the employee-employer relationship by serving a written notice on the employer at least one (1) month in advance. The employer upon whom no such notice was served may hold the employee liable for damages.

2. An employee may put an end to the relationship without serving any notice on the employer for any of the following just causes: 

  1. Serious insult by the employer or his representative on the honor and person of the employee;
  2. Inhuman and unbearable treatment accorded the employee by the employer or his representative;
  3. Commission of a crime or offense by the employer or his representative against the person of the employee or any of the immediate members of his family; and
  4. Other causes analogous to any of the foregoing.

Art. 286. When employment not deemed terminated. The bona-fide suspension of the operation of a business or undertaking for a period not exceeding six (6) months, or the fulfillment by the employee of a military or civic duty shall not terminate employment. In all such cases, the employer shall reinstate the employee to his former position without loss of seniority rights if he indicates his desire to resume his work not later than one (1) month from the resumption of operations of his employer or from his relief from the military or civic duty.

New Bill Seeks To Shorten Work Week

Most workers work for 5 to 6 days a week or 8 hours a day as required by the Labor Code of the Philippines.

Art. 83. Normal hours of work. The normal hours of work of any employee shall not exceed eight (8) hours a day.

Health personnel in cities and municipalities with a population of at least one million (1,000,000) or in hospitals and clinics with a bed capacity of at least one hundred (100) shall hold regular office hours for eight (8) hours a day, for five (5) days a week, exclusive of time for meals, except where the exigencies of the service require that such personnel work for six (6) days or forty-eight (48) hours, in which case, they shall be entitled to an additional compensation of at least thirty percent (30%) of their regular wage for work on the sixth day. For purposes of this Article, "health personnel" shall include resident physicians, nurses, nutritionists, dietitians, pharmacists, social workers, laboratory technicians, paramedical technicians, psychologists, midwives, attendants and all other hospital or clinic personnel.

Art. 84. Hours worked. Hours worked shall include (a) all time during which an employee is required to be on duty or to be at a prescribed workplace; and (b) all time during which an employee is suffered or permitted to work.

This has been a common practice, but a new bill aims to compress the work week from 6 days to 4 days. However, with the compressed work week, this will require employees to work more than 8 hours a day. There are mixed reactions regarding this proposition. To some, it is a good idea considering the fact that longer rest days allow you to spend some quality time with your family. To others, this is a disadvantage because compressed work week means longer hours at work. 

House Bill 5068 is waiting for 2nd and 3rd readings. Once the bill passes it will be enacted into a law. 

All You Need To Know About Employee Compensation For Death, Illness And Personal Injuries

Accidents can happen in the workplace. These accidents can cause a personal injury, which may cause an employee to rest for a few days or months until they are capable of nursing themselves back to health. If such employment caused personal injury or illness, is the employer going to pay compensation to the employee? There are many questions that linger in an employee's mind as some workers are not properly compensated. Act. No. 3428 prescribes the compensation, which will be received by employees for illness, personal injuries and even death if these are contracted in the performance of the workers' duties.

Sec. 2. Grounds for Compensation. — When any employee receives a personal injury from any accident due to and in the pursuance of the employment, or contracts any illness directly caused by such employment or the result of the nature of such employment, his employer shall pay compensation in the sums and to the persons hereinafter specified.

Sec. 3. Applicable to Government. — This Act shall also be applicable to the employees and laborers of the Insular Government and of the governments of the provinces, municipalities and all other political subdivisions of the Philippine Islands, employed in the industrial concerns of the Government and in public works.

Sec. 4. Injuries not Covered. — Compensation shall not be allowed for injuries caused (1) by the voluntary intent of the employee to inflict such injury upon himself or another person; (2) by drunkenness on the part of the laborer who had the accident; (3) by notorious negligence of the same.

Sec. 5. Exclusive Right to Compensation. — The right and remedies granted by this Act to an employee by reason of a personal injury entitling him to compensation shall exclude all other rights and remedies accruing to the employee, his personal representatives, dependents or nearest of kin against the employer under the Civil Code and other laws, because of said injury.

Employers contracting laborers in the Philippine Islands for work outside the same may stipulate with such laborers that the remedies prescribed by this Act shall apply exclusively to injuries received outside the Islands through accidents happening in and during the performance of the duties of the employment; and all service contracts made in the manner prescribed in this section shall be presumed to include such agreement.

Sec. 6. Liability of Third Parties. — In case an employee suffers an injury for which compensation is due under this Act by any other person besides his employer, it shall be optional with such injured employee either to claim compensation from his employer, under this Act, or sue such other person for damages, in accordance with law; and in case compensation is claimed and allowed in accordance with this Act, the employer who paid such compensation or was found liable to pay the same, shall succeed the injured employee to the right of recovering from such person what he paid: Provided, That in case the employer recovers from such third person damages in excess of those paid or allowed under this Act, such excess shall be delivered to the injured employee or any other person entitled thereto, after deduction of the expenses of the employer and the cost of the proceedings. The sum paid by the employer for compensation or the amount of compensation to which the employee or his dependents are entitled, shall not be admissible as evidence in any damage suit or action.

Sec. 7. Contract Prohibited. — Any contract, regulation, or device of any sort intended to exempt the employer from all or part of the liability created by this Act shall be null and void.

Sec. 8. Death Benefit. — If the injury received by the employee causes his death within six months from the date of such injury, the employer shall pay the compensation to the persons entitled thereto, and in case there should be none, he shall pay to the person representing the deceased employee the burial expenses, not to exceed one hundred pesos, and shall also pay to or for the following persons, in the order of priority and during the periods hereinafter set forth, a weekly compensation equivalent to the following percentages of the average weekly wages of the employee, as determined in section nineteen of this Act:

(a) To the dependent widow or widower, in case there are no dependent children, forty-five per centum.

(b) To the dependent widow or widower in case there are one or two dependent children, fifty per centum, and if there are three or more dependent children, sixty per centum.

(c) If there is no dependent widow or widower, but a dependent child or children, such child or children shall be paid thirty per centum, with ten per centum additional for each child in excess of two, up to a maximum of fifty per centum, which shall be distributed in equal shares among the children if there be more than one.

(d) If there are no dependent widow, widower, or children, but there is a dependent father or mother, forty per centum to the father or mother if totally dependent, or twenty-five per centum if partly dependent, and if both parents are dependent, each shall be paid one-half of such compensation. If there is no parent, but dependent grandparents, the same compensation shall be paid as to a father or mother.

(e) If there are no dependent widow, widower, child, parents, or grandparent, but there is a dependent grandchild, brother or sister, or two or more such, then twenty-five per centum shall be paid for one dependent and five per centum additional for each additional dependent, up to a maximum of forty per centum, which shall be distributed share and share alike among the dependents if there be more than one.

When several persons are entitled to compensation and there is disagreement concerning the share of the compensation each should receive, the Bureau of Labor shall act as referee and designate the share to be allotted to each dependent; but if the good offices of said Bureau do not meet with the approval of all parties concerned, the courts shall be competent to settle the matter in case an action is brought, and the employer may turn the money over to the court subject to disposal by the same. In case the laborer or employee who had the accident dies and there is no surviving spouse and the dependents or some of them are minors and have no guardian appointed by a court, the employer or concern compelled to pay compensation under this Act shall deposit the money represented by such compensation with the local justice of the peace court if outside the City of Manila, and with the municipal court in said city, and the officers thereof shall order payment to the minors through the municipal treasurer and the city treasurer, as the case may be, without necessity of appointing a guardian. 

Sec. 9. Dependents of the Injured Person. — The following persons, and no others, shall be considered as dependents and entitled to compensation under the provisions of this Act:

A son or daughter, if under eighteen years of age or incapable of supporting him or herself, and unmarried, whether actually dependent on the deceased or not;

The widow, only if she was living with the deceased or was actually dependent upon him, totally or partly;

The widower, only if incapable of supporting himself and actually dependent, totally or partly, upon the deceased on the date of the accident;

A parent of grandparent, only if totally or partly dependent upon the deceased;

A grandchild or brother or sister, only if less than eighteen years of age or incapable of supporting him or herself, and totally dependent upon the deceased. The relation of dependency must exist at the time of the injury.

A foreigner shall not be considered as a dependent within the meaning of this Act if he is not at the time a resident of the Philippine Islands, and any dependent foreigner leaving the Islands shall automatically forfeit all right to any benefit under this Act.

Sec. 10. Periods of Compensation. — The compensation provided for by this Act shall be payable during the following periods:

To a widow, until her death or remarriage; but in no case for more than two hundred and eight weeks;

To a widower, during his incapacity; but in no case for more than two hundred and eight weeks;

To a son or daughter, until he or she has completed eighteen years of age; but in case a son is unable to support himself and is not married, while such incapacity lasts, but in no case for more than two hundred and eight weeks in all;

To a parent or grandparent during the continuance of their actual condition of dependency; but in no case for more than two hundred and eight weeks;

To a grandchild, brother, or sister, during their condition of dependency, as defined in section nine hereof; but in no case for more than two hundred and eight weeks;

Upon the expiration of the compensation under this section to any person, to compensation payable to the remaining persons entitled to compensation because the entire period during which they must be paid compensation has not expired, shall be that which such persons would receive if they alone had been entitled to compensation at the time the deceased died. 

Grounds For Termination Of Employment

Being terminated from employment is one of the most unfortunate events that can happen in an employee's life. Termination may be inevitable especially if the company decides to cut labor cost by means of reducing the number of workers. However, termination also becomes a choice when employees neglect their duties, causing them to fall short of the employer's standard and expectations. Here are different grounds for termination: 

Art. 282. Termination by employer. An employer may terminate an employment for any of the following causes:

  1. Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work; 
  2. Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties;
  3. Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer or duly authorized representative;
  4. Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or his duly authorized representatives; and
  5. Other causes analogous to the foregoing.

Art. 283. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to the installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice on the workers and the Ministry of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. In case of termination due to the installation of labor-saving devices or redundancy, the worker affected thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at least his one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of establishment or undertaking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses, the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered one (1) whole year.

Art. 284. Disease as ground for termination. An employer may terminate the services of an employee who has been found to be suffering from any disease and whose continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his health as well as to the health of his co-employees: Provided, That he is paid separation pay equivalent to at least one (1) month salary or to one-half (1/2) month salary for every year of service, whichever is greater, a fraction of at least six (6) months being considered as one (1) whole year.

Art. 285. Termination by employee.

An employee may terminate without just cause the employee-employer relationship by serving a written notice on the employer at least one (1) month in advance. The employer upon whom no such notice was served may hold the employee liable for damages. 

An employee may put an end to the relationship without serving any notice on the employer for any of the following just causes: 

  1. Serious insult by the employer or his representative on the honor and person of the employee; 
  2. Inhuman and unbearable treatment accorded the employee by the employer or his representative;
  3. Commission of a crime or offense by the employer or his representative against the person of the employee or any of the immediate members of his family; and
  4. Other causes analogous to any of the foregoing.

Art. 286. When employment not deemed terminated. The bona-fide suspension of the operation of a business or undertaking for a period not exceeding six (6) months, or the fulfillment by the employee of a military or civic duty shall not terminate employment. In all such cases, the employer shall reinstate the employee to his former position without loss of seniority rights if he indicates his desire to resume his work not later than one (1) month from the resumption of operations of his employer or from his relief from the military or civic duty.

Grounds For Terminating A Probationary Employee

If you have been employed as a probationary employee, you should be aware that your employment is only for a given period of time unless you have met the conditions set forth by your employer. You will need to undergo evaluation to determine if you are deemed fit for permanent employment. Most companies place employees on probationary appointment to observe the employee's competence, skills and attitude. It is only referred to as probationary because it describes the period of employment.

Article 281 of the Labor Code defines probationary employment as:

ART. 281. Probationary Employment. – Probationary employment shall not exceed six (6) months from the date the employee started working, unless it is covered by an apprenticeship agreement stipulating a longer period. The services of an employee who has been engaged on a probationary basis may be terminated for a just cause or when he fails to qualify as a regular employee in accordance with reasonable standards made known by the employer to the employee at the time of his engagement. An employee who is allowed to work after a probationary period shall be considered a regular employee. 

Grounds For Terminating A Probationary Employee

Art. 282. Termination by employer. An employer may terminate an employment for any of the following causes:

1. Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work; 

2. Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties;

3. Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer or duly authorized representative;

4. Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or his duly authorized representatives; and

5. Other causes analogous to the foregoing.

Art. 285. Termination by employee.

1. An employee may terminate without just cause the employee-employer relationship by serving a written notice on the employer at least one (1) month in advance. The employer upon whom no such notice was served may hold the employee liable for damages.

2. An employee may put an end to the relationship without serving any notice on the employer for any of the following just causes: 

1. Serious insult by the employer or his representative on the honor and person of the employee;

2. Inhuman and unbearable treatment accorded the employee by the employer or his representative;

3. Commission of a crime or offense by the employer or his representative against the person of the employee or any of the immediate members of his family; and

4. Other causes analogous to any of the foregoing.

Different Types of Employment

A company needs employees to operate the business. Before getting hired by an employer, it is important for every employee to determine the type of employment they have. This is because conflicts may arise when an employer decides to go in a different direction. 

Types of Employees

1. Regular Employees-these employees refer to those who are hired for the business activities deemed necessary in the employer's usual business. They are the ones who enjoy tenure security as it is guaranteed by the Constitution. A regular employee cannot simply be terminated unless due to Just and Authorized causes according to the law. 

2. Probationary Employee-workers will not be automatically regularized once hired as they will be placed on probationary status for 6 months. After the probationary period, the employee's performance will be evaluated if they are qualified for regularization. 

3. Term Employees-this type of employee also refers to fixed-term employee because their services are needed for a specific period only. 

4. Project Employees-an employee hired for a specific project is considered as a project employee. Before an employee can be hired as a project employee, the company must specify the length and scope of the work. 

5. Seasonal Employees-workers who are hired for business activities which require additional manpower and are temporarily laid off during off season are called casual employees. 

6. Casual Employees-this type of employee is hired for business activities which are deemed incidental to the business. 

ART. 280. Regular and Casual Employment.— The provisions of written agreement to the contrary notwithstanding and regardless of the oral agreement of the parties, an employment shall be deemed to be regular where the employee has been engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer, except where the employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking the completion or termination of which has been determined at the time of the engagement of the employee or where the work or service to be performed is seasonal in nature and the employment is for the duration of the season.

An employment shall be deemed to be casual if it is not covered by the preceding paragraph: Provided, That, any employee who has rendered at least one year of service, whether such service is continuous or broken, shall be considered a regular employee with respect to the activity in which he is employed and his employment shall continue while such actually exists.

The foregoing contemplates four (4) kinds of employees: (a) regular employees or those who have been “engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer”; (b)  project employees or those “whose employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking[,] the completion or termination of which has been determined at the time of the engagement of the employee”; (c)   seasonal employees or those who work or perform services which are seasonal in nature, and the employment is for the duration of the season; and (d) casual employees or those who are not regular, project, or seasonal employees. Jurisprudence has added a fifth kind— a fixed-term employee.

The Period Of Probation Should Not Exceed Six Months

Before you become officially employed, you need to sign an employment contract that binds you into an agreement. Signing a contract means that you will follow company policies and agree to the terms and conditions. Your probationary period is one of the provisions in the contract. But, what if you noticed that the probationary period is more than six months? Will you still consider your employment just and legal?

According to Article 281 of the Labor Code, "probationary employment shall not exceed six months from the date the employee started working, unless it is covered by an apprenticeship agreement stipulating a longer period."

Also, an employee who continues to work for the same company after the probationary period will be considered a regular employee. As a rule of thumb, the period of probation should only be limited to six months.

However, there are still some exceptions to the rule. This is when probationary employment is covered by an apprenticeship agreement, which in theory requires a longer period. Apprenticeship refers to an employment wherein the situation that an employee is engaged in is apprenticeable.

SECTION 6. Probationary employment.

(a) Where the work for which an employee has been engaged is learnable or apprenticeable in accordance with the standards prescribed by the Department of Labor, the probationary employment period of the employee shall be limited to the authorized learnership or apprenticeship period, whichever is applicable.

(b) Where the work is neither learnable nor apprenticeable, the probationary employment period shall not exceed six (6) months reckoned from the date the employee actually started working.

(c) The services of an employee who has been engaged on probationary basis may be terminated only for a just cause or when authorized by existing laws, or when he fails to qualify as a regular employee in accordance with reasonable standards prescribed by the employer.

(d) In all cases involving employees engaged on probationary basis, the employer shall make known to the employee the standards under which he will qualify as a regular employee at the time of his engagement.

What Are The Labor Benefits Of A Solo Parent?

As a solo parent, you are required to juggle multiple responsibilities that sometimes, your own needs have to take a backseat.

You become a solo parent when you assume responsibility of the head of the family due to abandonment, death or disappearance.  While it can be difficult to wear many hats, you know for a fact that you and your siblings need to survive. Is a solo parent entitled to labor benefits?

Republic Act No. 8972  or Solo Parents' Welfare Act of 2000

Section 4. Criteria for Support. – Any solo parent whose income in the place of domicile falls below the poverty threshold as set by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and subject to the assessment of the DSWD worker in the area shall be eligible for assistance: Provided, however, That any solo parent whose income is above the poverty threshold shall enjoy the benefits mentioned in Sections 6, 7 and 8 of this Act.

Section 5. Comprehensive Package of Social Development and Welfare Services. – A comprehensive package of social development and welfare services for solo parents and their families will be developed by the DSWD, DOH, DECS, CHED, TESDA, DOLE, NHA and DILG, in coordination with local government units and a nongovernmental organization with proven track record in providing services for solo parents.

The DSWD shall coordinate with concerned agencies the implementation of the comprehensive package of social development and welfare services for solo parents and their families. The package will initially include:

(a) Livelihood development services which include trainings on livelihood skills, basic business management, value orientation and the provision of seed capital or job placement.

(b) Counseling services which include individual, peer group or family counseling. This will focus on the resolution of personal relationship and role conflicts.

(c) Parent effectiveness services which include the provision and expansion of knowledge and skills of the solo parent on early childhood development, behavior management, health care, rights and duties of parents and children.

(d) Critical incidence stress debriefing which includes preventive stress management strategy designed to assist solo parents in coping with crisis situations and cases of abuse.

(e) Special projects for individuals in need of protection which include temporary shelter, counseling, legal assistance, medical care, self-concept or ego-building, crisis management and spiritual enrichment.

Section 6. Flexible Work Schedule. – The employer shall provide for a flexible working schedule for solo parents: Provided, That the same shall not affect individual and company productivity: Provided, further, That any employer may request exemption from the above requirements from the DOLE on certain meritorious grounds.

Section 7. Work Discrimination. – No employer shall discriminate against any solo parent employee with respect to terms and conditions of employment on account of his/her status.

Section 8. Parental Leave. – In addition to leave privileges under existing laws, parental leave of not more than seven (7) working days every year shall be granted to any solo parent employee who has rendered service of at least one (1) year.

Section 9. Educational Benefits. – The DECS, CHED and TESDA shall provide the following benefits and privileges:

(1) Scholarship programs for qualified solo parents and their children in institutions of basic, tertiary and technical/skills education; and

(2) Nonformal education programs appropriate for solo parents and their children.

The DECS, CHED and TESDA shall promulgate rules and regulations for the proper implementation of this program.

Section 10. Housing Benefits. – Solo parents shall be given allocation in housing projects and shall be provided with liberal terms of payment on said government low-cost housing projects in accordance with housing law provisions prioritizing applicants below the poverty line as declared by the NEDA.

Section 11. Medical Assistance. – The DOH shall develop a comprehensive health care program for solo parents and their children. The program shall be implemented by the DOH through their retained hospitals and medical centers and the local government units (LGUs) through their provincial/district/city/municipal hospitals and rural health units (RHUs).

Can Your Employer Hold Your Last Paycheck?

The policies of your company will determine the release of the last paycheck for resigning employees.

Employees who are planning to resign are often required to give at least a thirty-day notice to the company or employer before the date of the intended resignation. However, there are some cases when the employee's last paycheck is not given despite rendering the services within the required period.

Is it lawful for an employer to hold the release of the employee's last salary?

The answer will greatly depend on the policies of your office.

The common scenario for employees who have an intention to resign is to give thirty-day notice and within that period, they need to render their services while waiting for the resignation's effectivity. There are cases when the salary is immediately given so long as it covers the payroll period. For instance, an employee is receiving his/her salary every 15th and 30th of the month.

The payroll period may vary from company to company. In some cases, the payroll period covered by the salary that falls on the 15th is 26 to 10 while the period for the salary on the 30th is from 11 to 25. If the effectivity of your resignation falls on the 26th, you need to give thirty-day notice. This means that before the 26th you should have already completed the required notice period. Your salary on the 15th may still be received, but it is also possible that the company will not release your salary on the 30th covering the period 11 to 25 for the reason that you need to make sue you are cleared from any accountability.

The contract of employment also binds you and your employer. The contracting parties need to fulfill the obligations stated in the contract provided they do not go against morals, good customs, public order and public policy.

If the contract indicates stipulations as to the manner of release of salary once an employee expresses his/her intent to resign, this obligation must be fulfilled. However, the company's customary practice must be consulted if you have not signed any contract.

It is important that you inquire from your company about their policy. This way, you will be enlightened in the event they do not release your last paycheck. The human resources and accounting departments will be able to answer your concerns regarding your salary.

The reason behind the withholding of the salary is to give the employer the chance to clear the employee from liabilities. Once you comply with company's requirements such as securing a clearance form, there is a possibility that you will still get your salary.

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.

Immediate Resignation: When Is It Considered Valid?

Immediate resignation is prevalent in most companies. While employees may terminate their contract of employment through resignation, a written notice of the resignation must be given in advance. The written notice is counted as 30 calendar days. The purpose of the advance notice is to prevent disrupting the business operation and to protect the employee from being held liable for damages.

This is a common scenario especially when employees no longer feel motivated to work. The decision to resign just comes out of the blue. However, there are some risks involved in tendering an immediate resignation.

What happens if you do not provide resignation notice?

There are certain measures that will be implemented in the event you do not comply with the required notice period. It can have a serious impact on you as an employee because you have not ensured proper transition. Complying with the required notice period means giving the company enough time to find your replacement.

When can an employee resign without serving any notice?

Under Article 285 of the Labor Code, the following circumstances may allow an employee to terminate the contract of employment without serving a written notice.

1. Serious insult by the employer or his representative on the honor and person of the employee;

2. Inhuman and unbearable treatment accorded the employee by the employer or his representative;

3. Commission of a crime or offense by the employer or his representative against the person of the employee or any of the immediate members of his family; and

4.Other causes analogous to any of the foregoing.

Separation Pay

If an employee voluntarily resigns from work, he or she may not be entitled to separation pay. However, separation pay will only be given if the severance of employment is beyond the employee's control. For instance, an employer decides to retrench worker to prevent losses and this will force the employee to resign or depart from the company. Under the law, dismissed employee is entitled to separation pay.

Voluntary resignation where severance of employment is the employee's initiative, the law does not require the employer to give separation pay. However, there can still be some exceptions to the rule.

1. When payment of separation pay is stipulated in the employment contract or Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA, for companies with existing bargaining agent or union);

2. When it is sanctioned by established employer practice or policy.

In Employment, Age No Longer Matters

Mr. X used to have a great job abroad but he was sent home by his employer as part of the company's cost-cutting measures. Mr. X was able to sustain months without a job, thanks to the small savings he was able to secure while working abroad. However, it did not take long for him to find himself trying to make ends meet. He still had 4 mouths to feed and two of which are already in college. Mr. X was in dire need of a job to put food on their plate and to support his children's education. There were jobs that match his skills, but he always falls short on one thing: his age. He always goes home with a heavy heart because despite his qualifications, employers still prefer younger applicants. Mr. X loses hope.

This scenario is very common in a country where age really matters in employment. There are many workers who fit the bill, but once they come across a job ad with age requirement, their hopes vanish into thin air. With the Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Law, the not-so-young applicants will have a chance at getting the job without worrying about age limit.

Republic Act 10911: Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Law

This law covers all labor contractors, subcontractors, employers, labor organizations, and publishers. For employers, any ad, printed or published, which suggests limitations, preferences, discrimination, and specifications based on age will not be allowed. In addition, employers should not decline any employment application due to the person's age. Employees must also have the privilege to get promoted or trained for advancement despite their age. Employers should not let go of employees or workers because of old age. Imposing early retirement because of age is also a prohibited employment practice.

Age Limitation Exception

  • Bona fide seniority system
  • Bona fide employee retirement or a voluntary early retirement plan
  • Age is a bona fide occupational qualification

Penalties

The penalties for the violation of this law include a fine of P50,000.00 but not more than P500,000.00 and imprisonment of not less than 3 months but more than 2 years. The penalty will be imposed the guilty officer or officer if the offense is committed by a corporation.

The Anti-Age Discrimination Bill will be implemented by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). They shall have the authority to investigate and require the records for the administration of the Act. The implementing Rules and Regulations will be formulated by the Secretary of Labor and Employment within 90 days from the law's effectivity.

Your Rights As A Part-Time Employee

With the growing number of unemployed individuals in the Philippines, employment is deemed a privilege. A privilege that some employers tend to exploit due to the employee's lack of basic knowledge of the labor law. Some employees are well aware of their rights and exercise it when they feel that employers are already crossing the lines. There are employees that remain oblivious to the fact that they are giving more to the employers and only getting less. Part-time employment may seem less glamorous than its counterpart: the full-time employment. However, it does not necessarily mean that this type of employment will not entitle employees of the benefits they so deserve. DOLE's explanatory bulletin explains the right of a part-time employee:

On payment of wages and statutory monetary benefits

As the Labor Code benefits are generally based on the 8-hour workday schedule, the employer may pay “proportionately decrease the daily wage and wage-related benefits granted by law.” This presupposes that there is no contrary stipulation in the employment contract, company policy, CBA, requiring full payment for 8 hours a day despite a shorter work schedule.

The above rule applies the principle of fairness and equity, as well as the principle of “a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s labor.”
On security of tenure

Part-time employees enjoy security of tenure.

As with full-time employees, part-time employees may only be terminated from employment after observance of due process. Due process termination requires the observance of substantive due process and procedural due process. Non-compliance with due process will result in illegal dismissal of a part-time employee.

Curiously, the Bulletin states that part-time employees are entitled to security of tenure only if they become regular employees. “Once they become regular employees, they are entitled to security of tenure under the law, and can only be separated for a just or authorized cause and after due process.”

It is respectfully submitted that this is incorrect.

The principle of security of tenure enshrined in the 1987 Constitution applies to all employees – without exception. As a part-time employee is undoubtedly and without question an employee, then the principle of security of tenure likewise applies to such employee.

Further, it should be borne in mind that a part-time employee may be a regular despite the shorter working schedule. To be clear, a regular employee may be a full-time regular or a part-time regular. The Supreme Court no less has recognized such a situation.

In Perpetual Help Cooperative, Inc. v. Faburada, it was held that a part-time employee may be a regular despite rendering less than the eight hours of work a day. “That [the employee] worked only on a part-time basis does not mean that he is a not a regular employee. Ones regularity of employment is not determined by the number of hours one works but by the nature and by the length of time one has been in that particular job.”

As the Bulletin was issued in 1996 and the Perpetual Help Cooperative case was promulgated in 2005, it is submitted that the said case law supersedes the Bulletin insofar as there may be inconsistencies.
On probationary employment

In the Bulletin, probationary employment for part-time employees may extend the prescribed six (6) months period to the extent that the total number of hours work would be equal to that of a full-time employee under probation.

The justification is anchored on the “intent of the law in allowing a probationary period prior to regularization.”[6] The employer’s main reason for insisting the 6-month probation is to test the employee’s fitness for employment during that time. Thus, the number of normal working days and hours within the probationary period should be observed. “For this reason, part-timers should become regular in status, after working for the total number of hours or days, which completes a six-month probationary period of a full-time worker in the same establishment doing the same job under normal circumstances.”

Know The Basics of Philippine Labor Law

Once you are employed, you need to equip yourself with basic knowledge about Philippine labor law for you to know your rights as an employee. Aside from wage and monetary benefits, employees may also have lingering questions about the hours of work, rest day and even holidays. Here are the basics:

Hours of work

Employees must not exceed 8 hours a day while health personnel must have a maximum of 40 hours per week. If hours of work exceed 40 hours, the employee is entitled to 30% additional pay. While the law suggests 8 hours to be the maximum number of work hours, the law the does prohibit working less than eight hours. Part-time work is allowed and the pay will correspond to the actual hours worked. When it comes to the wage and benefits of part-time workers, they should be in proportion to the number of hours worked. For instance, if the part-time worker earns P400.00 for an eight-hour work, P200.00 will be received for work done in four hours.

The law on overtime applies to everyone. However, the following are exempted by the law: government employees, managerial personnel, househelpers, piece rate workers, non-agricultural field personnel whose work hours cannot be determined and family members who are dependent upon the support of employer. For work done between 10PM and 6AM, the rate is higher than normal. Under the Labor Code, employees who work between the specified time shall be paid a night shift differential of not less than 10% of the regular wage for each hour of worked performed.

Overtime work refers to work rendered beyond 8 hours and the employee who renders overtime work shall earn an additional pay of 25%. If overtime work is done on a rest day or holiday, the rate will be 30%. In the event of undertime on another day, overtime pay should still apply as the law prohibits offsetting overtime with undertime on another day.

Rest Day

Weekly rest day includes rest period of not less than 24 consecutive hours after every six normal workdays. The weekly restday is determined by the employer, but shall respect the employee's preference if such reference is based on religious grounds. If employees work on a rest day, the compensation will be the regular wage plus 30% thereof. For employees working on a Sunday, the employee shall be entitled to the additional 30% pay if Sunday happens to be the rest day.

Holidays

Holiday pay is received by employees on the occasion of a special day or a regular holiday. For regular holidays, the employee is still paid even if she did not work. The employee will be entitled to double pay if she works on a regular holiday. When it comes to a special day, the employees will not be paid if they do not report for work. If employees work on a special day, they will be entitled to 130% of the regular pay.

Termination Of Employment: What Is Your Right As An Employee?

Before an employer dismisses an employee, the due process must be properly observed regardless of the ground for termination. The reason for termination may be due serious misconduct, redundancy, cessation business and others. Employers must take the components of procedural due process to prevent any violation of the labor code. In a termination for just cause, the two-notice rule must be observed. The employee will be given a chance to explain his or her side through a notice of intent to dismiss where the ground for termination is specified. The employee will have the opportunity to respond to the charge during a hearing or conference. The evidence will also be presented against the employee. All the circumstances will be taken into consideration and when grounds have been established to justify termination, a notice of dismissal will be served to the employee. On the other hand, a written notice of dismissal to the employee which specifies the grounds at least 30 days before the termination date will be served for cases of termination for an authorized cause.

Termination of employment Under presidential decree No. 442

“ART. 282. Termination by employer. - An employer may terminate an employment for any of the following causes:

(a) Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work;

(b) Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties;

(c) Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer or duly authorized representative;

(d) Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or his duly authorized representatives; and

(e) Other causes analogous to the foregoing.

ART. 283. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. - The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to the installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice on the workers and the Ministry of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. In case of termination due to the installation of labor-saving devices or redundancy, the worker affected thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at least his one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of establishment or undertaking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses, the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered one (1) whole year.

ART. 284. Disease as ground for termination. - An employer may terminate the services of an employee who has been found to be suffering from any disease and whose continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his health as well as to the health of his co-employees: Provided, That he is paid separation pay equivalent to at least one (1) month salary or to one-half (1/2) month salary for every year of service, whichever is greater, a fraction of at least six (6) months being considered as one (1) whole year.

ART. 285. Termination by employee. - (a) An employee may terminate without just cause the employee-employer relationship by serving a written notice on the employer at least one (1) month in advance. The employer upon whom no such notice was served may hold the employee liable for damages.

(b) An employee may put an end to the relationship without serving any notice on the employer for any of the following just causes:

1. Serious insult by the employer or his representative on the honor and person of the employee;
2. Inhuman and unbearable treatment accorded the employee by the employer or his representative;
3. Commission of a crime or offense by the employer or his representative against the person of the employee or any of the immediate members of his family; and
4. Other causes analogous to any of the foregoing.

ART. 286. When employment not deemed terminated. - The bona-fide suspension of the operation of a business or undertaking for a period not exceeding six (6) months, or the fulfillment by the employee of a military or civic duty shall not terminate employment. In all such cases, the employer shall reinstate the employee to his former position without loss of seniority rights if he indicates his desire to resume his work not later than one (1) month from the resumption of operations of his employer or from his relief from the military or civic duty.”



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