Anyway, I thought of writing this to benefit fresh graduates who are about to embark on employment, those who are about to be employed, and those who are lazy enough to read some highly technical explanations on the basic rights of the workers in the Philippines. We all should be vigilant in protecting our rights as members of the work force.
This is applicable to employees under private sectors only as governed by the Labor Code of the Philippines. Government employees' rights and benefits are governed by the Civil Service Law.
This is a simplified version and the information gathered are very basic. If you need to know more, better consult with your HR or your lawyer, as the case may be. It would help if you will also read the laws cited in this article for details.
1. We have the right to be treated with dignity and the right to a gainful employment.
2. Male and female employees are entitled to equal compensation for work of equal value and to equal access to promotion and training opportunities.
3. Discrimination against female employees is unlawful. It is also unlawful for an employer to require a condition of employment that a woman employee shall not get married, or to stipulate expressly or tacitly that a woman employee shall be deemed dismissed upon marriage.
4. Minimum age of employment is 18years old.
5. No employee can be dismissed from work except for a just or authorized cause, and only after due process.
Due process means - written notice specifying the ground for dismissal. The law requires the two-notice rule (Notice of violation and notice of termination.) Note: the employee has the right to be heard prior to termination.
Just Causes for Dismissal:
1. Serious misconduct
2. willful disobedience of employer's lawful orders connected with work
3. gross and habitual neglect of duty
4. fraud or willful breach of trust
5. commission of crime or offense against the employer, employer's family member/s or representative
6.other analogous cases
** Probationary employee who has not meet the prescribed standard of
performance of the employer during the period of his/her probation is also a
just/valid ground for dismissal.
6. An employee must be paid his or her wages for all hours worked. Prescribed numbers of hours worked is 8 hours a day. In excess of this hour will entitle an employee an overtime pay (with the exception of employees who are considered managers or members of the management staff. The employer however has the prerogative to pay them of OT.)
7. An employee is entitled to a day-off of not less than 24 consecutive hours after six days of work. Schedule must be well communicated to the employee. We are also entitled to at-least one hour meal break which is non-compensable or unpaid.
8. Employees' wages must be in a form of cash or legal tender and must be given not less than once every 2 weeks or twice a month at intervals not exceeding 16 days.
9. The employer must pay the employee the minimum wage prescribed by law. The minimum wage as of June 2014 is posted in this link: http://www.nwpc.dole.gov.ph/rtwpb.html.
Note: Non-payment of the minimum wage may cause the revocation of business license, will expose employers to penalties, and will entitle employees to back wages. Employers can also be made liable for damages.
Also, failure of the employer to release any benefits or reduce the benefits already enjoyed by the employees for a certain period of time made by the employer consistently and deliberately and has ripened into a company practice (offered by the employer as incentive to attract and retain employees and to increase the morale of the employees) is considered DIMINUTION of benefits and is frowned upon by law. Remember that the company may give more than the minimum prescribed under our labor standards but never LESS.
Minimum wage earners are not required to pay income tax. Employers should not deduct income tax from their salaries.
10. Employees are entitled to a safe and healthful working condition. The employer must provide every kind of protection to employees against injury, sickness, or death.
11. Our employment is an employment-at-will. We cannot be compelled to work if it is against our will. It will be tantamount to involuntary servitude UNLESS when the assignment is based on a lawful order. As employee, you may be guilty of insubordination or willful disobedience if you refuse to perform the job you are paid to do.
1. We are entitled to receive not less than the minimum wage prescribed by law for every 8 hours work plus overtime pay in excess of 8hours. Note: Below is the prescribed OT pay % and sample computation:
2. Employees are also entitled to a Night Shift Differential of additional 10% on his/her hourly rate for each hour of work between 10PM to 6AM. But this benefit is not available to the following: (1) Government employees; (2) retail & service establishments employing not more than 5 workers; (3) kasambahay; (4) managerial employees and members of a managerial staff; (5) field personnel and those whose time and performance are unsupervised by the employer.
3. Employees are entitled to five (5) Service Incentive Leave (SIL) with pay provided the employee has rendered at least one year of service. If your company is already giving you a vacation leave of not less that 5 days, you are no longer entitled to the SIL.
The SIL may be used for sick and vacation leave purposes. If you have unused SIL at the end of the year, it is commutable to its money equivalent. But the use and conversion of this benefit may be made on a pro-rata basis.
4. For pregnant women, you are entitled to a Maternity leave of 60 days if normal delivery and 78 days if caesarian section delivery. The SSS is the agency that is tasked to provide the maternity benefits in lieu of wages. The maternity leave may not be included in the computation of 13th month pay for the calendar year.
5. The male employees are entitled to a Paternity leave of 7 calendar days with full pay to be used after delivery. He may be allowed to take a leave before or during delivery as approved by the employer. However, unlike the SIL, if the paternity leave is not availed of, it shall not be convertible to cash.
6. Solo parents are now entitled to a 7 days parental leave under RA 8972. A solo parent is an individual who is left alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to the following:
7. Women who fall victim to violence as defined by RA 9262 (Anti-VAWC Law) are now also entitled to 10 days PAID leave on top of the granted leave under the law, under company policies, and under collective bargaining agreements. The only requirement to avail of this benefit is to provide a certification from the Punong Barangay, Brgy. Kagawad, prosecutor, or Clerk of Court that an action relative to the said matter is pending.
8. Under RA 9710, women with "gynecological disorders" that would require surgical procedures are entitled to special leave benefit of 2 months with full pay based on her gross monthly compensation. This is however non-convertible to cash and non-cumulative if unused.
10. All rank and file employees are entitled to 13th month pay of not less than 1/12 of the total basic salary earned by an employee in a calendar year provided such employee worked for at least one (1) month during the calendar year. (see Presidential Decree No. 851).
11. Employees are entitled to separation pay where the termination is for just causes:
* 1/2 month pay per year of service if termination is due to the following:
1. Retrenchment to prevent losses
2. Closure or cessation of operation of establishment
3. The employee is suffering from a disease not curable within a 6-month
period and his employment is prejudicial to the employee's health and the
health of his/her co-workers.
* 1 month pay per year of service if termination is due to the following:
1. Installation of employer of labor-saving devices
3. Impossible reinstatement of employee due to valid reasons not attributable to
the fault of the employer such as closure of the company or the position no
12. Employees are entitled to a retirement pay of not less than 1/2 month salary for every year of service upon reaching the age of sixty (60) or more but not beyond 65 years old and have served the company for at least five (5) years.
13. Employees are also entitled to benefits under Employee Compensation Program (ECP) designed to provide a compensation package to public and private sector employees and their dependents in the event of work-related sickness, injury, disability, or death. This can be claimed in SSS for private employees and GSIS for government employees.
14. Other Statutory benefits, payment of which must be remitted by the employer to the applicable agency. A portion of the contribution must be paid by the employer and a portion to be paid by the employee.
- Phil-health Benefits
- Social Security Benefits
- Pag-ibig Benefits
As workers, we have so many rights but we should remember that our rights stop once the rights of the employers begin. Among their rights are:
1. The right to select who to hire.
2. The right to formulate company policies that are not contrary to law, morals, public
order, and public policy.
3. The right to assign tasks and responsibilities to the employees and to set standard of
4. The right to transfer employees.
5. The right to discipline employees (ex. to suspend).
6. The right to terminate employees.(ouch!)
Let us not sleep on our rights BUT we must not ABUSE them. Let us work and perform excellently as employees. It is important to be granted with our rights but we should be worthy of them. Our relationship with our employers should be a "give and take" kind. It is still important that we are both happy working together.
For more information, you may inquire from or visit the site of the Bureau of Working Conditions and/or DOLE:Bureau of Working Conditions.
Sources: Labor Code of the Philippines
DOLE / BWC