How Can Labor Law in the Philippines Help Solve Your Employment Issues?

Ever since the Philippines’ economy started transitioning from one that is based on agriculture to another that’s based more on providing services, a lot of job opportunities have opened up for its countrymen. In relation to this, labor cases and work-related complaints have also gone up. In fact, in Central Visayas alone, the number of complaints received by the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) has increased by 53 percent in the first two months of 2019 compared to the same period last year.

Knowing your rights, obligations, and privileges are very important to be able to determine if what you are being asked to do by your employer (or, if you’re the employer, what you are asking your workers to do) is in accordance with the law. Without enough knowledge of those 3 mentioned above, one party may be capable of abusing another whether it’s intentional or not.

In this article, some of the most common issues, questions, and misconceptions will be answered and discussed.

 

Is Mandatory OT Legal in the Philippines?

In all honesty, the most dependable answer to this question is actually: it depends on the situation. Mandatory overtime may be regarded as unlawful unless it meets at least one of the five (5) conditions provided in Article 89 of the Labor Code of the Philippines which provides the rules about Emergency Overtime Work or the only circumstances when an employer may require his or her employees to perform overtime labor. These conditions are as follows:

  • When the country is at war or when any other emergency (local or national) has been declared by the National Assembly or the Chief Executive.
  • When overtime is needed to prevent loss of life or property, or in case of immediate danger to public safety due to an actual or approaching emergency in the area caused by serious accidents, fire, flood, typhoon, earthquake, epidemic, or other disasters or calamity.
  • When there is an urgent task to be completed on machines, installations, or equipment, to be able to avoid serious loss or damage to the employer or some other cause of similar nature.
  • When the job is necessary to avoid the loss of or damage to perishable goods.
  • Where the completion or continuation of the work that has been started before the eighth hour is crucial to prevent serious obstruction or prejudice to the company or operations of the employer.

 

Can An Employee Refuse to Work Overtime in the Philippines?

If we’re going to use the information supplied above, we can conclude that an employee may not refuse mandatory overtime of work unless he or she is able to justify that none of the situations above is met. However, the safest way to know if you may or may not refuse such would be through a lawyer consultation as they have a full understanding of our constitution and its technicalities.

 

Is Night Differential Mandatory in the Philippines?

Yes, it is. In accordance with Article 86 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, every employee must be paid a night shift differential. The compensation for each hour of work done between ten o’clock in the evening and six o’clock in the morning shall not be less than ten percent (10%) of his or her regular wage.

 

Since we’re Reviewing Compensation, Are Holidays Paid in the Philippines?

Yes, every worker has the right to holiday pay (except in retail and service establishments regularly employing less than ten workers) according to our labor law.

 

How much shall be paid for work during a holiday?

For Special Holidays: When a work is performed during any special holiday, an employee is entitled to be paid an additional compensation of at least thirty percent (30%) of his/her regular pay. If the special holiday work falls on the employee’s scheduled rest day, he is entitled to additional compensation of at least fifty percent of his regular wage.

For Regular or Legal Holidays: The employer may demand their employees to work during any legal holiday with the condition that such workers shall be paid a compensation equivalent to at least two times his regular rate.

Note: Regular or Legal Holidays in the Philippines include (but are not limited to): New Year’s Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, April 9th, the first of May, June 12th (Independence Day), the fourth of July, November 30th, the twenty-fifth and thirtieth of December, and the day designated by law for holding a general election.

These compensations are the smallest percentage/amount an employer can offer an employee. Depending on the contract and the employer’s offer, an employee may get more than what is required by the law but not any less than what is mandated.

 

Why Do Employers Lose on Labor Cases?

According to a former Labor Undersecretary, more than 80 out of 100 employers lose their labor cases in the Philippines. The main reason for this is that they actually violated labor standards and laws such as committing illegal dismissal, unfair labor practices, and unpaid wages and benefits. Employers also lose cases because they don’t keep records and handle documents correctly. Lastly, it is because they got the wrong choice of lawyer to handle the case – which is the most unfortunate and can be easily avoided if proper research has been conducted.

The questions and scenarios above are just a few of the many inquiries employers and employees have in mind. Surely, there are a lot of other topics related to labor laws that you would want to be discussed, however, for other questions about these laws, it is most advisable to contact the right lawyer in order to avoid lawsuits and violations.

Labor Law is one of the practice areas of Yap, Kung, Ching & Associates Law Office (ykclaw.ph), and your inquiries will surely be handled by the best lawyers available in our office. You can give us a call from Monday to Friday at 10:00 in the morning up to 5:00 in the afternoon or you can head directly to our office on G&A Building in 2303 Chino Roces Ave., Brgy. Magallanes, Makati City.

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