Are you enjoying your benefits as an employee?
With Labor Day just around the corner, it the best time to review the Labor Code.
Whether you are a fresh graduate who landed your first job or you are a professional who had just celebrated your anniversary with your company, you must know that you have six basic benefits as mandated by the Labor Code.
What’s in it for the entrepreneurs? If you are hiring people in your company, then you must know their benefits, standard wage and compensation, and the individual contributions you should remit to various government agencies.
Labor Code of the Philippines
Presidential Decree No. 442 known as the "Labor Code of the Philippines" is designed to protect Filipinos from unfair employment and to promote equal work opportunities to avoid biases. Whether you are on probationary or already a regular worker, you have rights to benefits as specified under the Labor Code
In addition, the Department of Labor and Employment has created a guideline of minimum wage rates per region.
The salary of the house helpers is not considered in the list. This is because a separate law has been created for them. According to Republic Act No. 10361 known as Domestic Workers Act, the minimum monthly income for house helpers in NCR is P2,500. Those employed in first-class municipalities must have a minimum wage of P2,000 a month, while those employed in other municipalities can have as low as P1,500 monthly.
6 Must-Know Employee Benefits in the Philippines
13th Month Pay
Summer is just halfway and Christmas is still far away, but the simple thought of 13th month pay brings spark to a tired employee’s eyes.
As mandated by Presidential Decree No. 851, every employee must receive their 13th month pay. It is the one-twelfth (1/12) of the basic salary from January to December. There is no exact date on when the employer has to release it, but you are supposed to receive it before December 24th.
Take note that this is your 13th month "PAY". This is not a bonus. It comes from your monthly income which is being held back until December. Simply, your employer keeps the one-twelfth part of your salary. By the end of the year, it will be equivalent to your one month worth or salary. Your employer has been doing the saving for you until the Christmas season.
Service Incentive Leave
Found in Article 95 of Book III, Chapter III of the Labor Code, you are entitled to service incentive leave of five days (with pay) a year. What does “with pay” means? You can take a vacation leave and you’ll still get paid during those days.
Just note that you must file your leave ahead of time. Ask your HR Officer on how you can file for leave and the specific guideline your company has for these benefits. Take note that this benefit is not applicable to companies with less than 10 employees.
There are other laws which also gives you the right for:
- Maternity Leave
Under Senate Bill 2982, known as Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2015, pregnant woman employee who has been with the company for at least six months can have 100 days of maternity leave. This is only applicable for the first four deliveries.
- Paternity Leave
According to Republic Act No. 8187, or Paternity Leave Act of 1996, married fathers can have a seven-day paid leave if his legitimate spouse gives birth to their child. Just like the maternity leave, this is only applicable for the first four deliveries.
- Solo Parent Leave
If you are a solo parent, you can have a parental leave for seven days every year as an additional benefit. Parental leave is also a paid leave as mandated by Republic Act No. 8972.
- Special Leave Benefits for Women
Women employees who had undergone surgery due to gynecological disorders are entitled to two months’ leave with full pay. This is specified under Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women. Victims of violence against women can have 10 days leave with full pay as mandated by R.A. 9262.
Meal and Rest Periods
Been working overtime lately? As we know, the normal working hours of an employee is eight hours a day, for five days a week. Keep in mind that health personnel might be exempted under certain circumstances. And when we say eight hours of work a day, this excludes the time for your meals.
Every employee is entitled to have their regular meals and short breaks. In case they are required to work beyond 10 pm or before 6 am, they will be paid with additional 10% as night differential pay.
Social Security System (SSS) Contributions and Benefits
Republic Act No. 8282, or Social Security Act of 1997, mandates employers to make sure that their employees are members of Social Security System.
Under SSS Employees’ Compensation (EC) program, the SSS members can get compensations in the event of sickness, maternity, disability, old age, and death. The employers also need to deduct the SSS contribution from the employees’ monthly salary and remit them properly.
Failure to remit the employees’ contribution despite the salary deductions for this purpose will hold the employers responsible and may be subjected to legal actions. Employees can get various loans from SSS too with lower interest rate compared to most banks.
PhilHealth Benefits and Contributions
Of course, as an employee, you must have heard of PhilHealth’s financial assistance. While the coverage of this institution is very limited, it could help most Filipinos especially mothers during deliveries. In accordance to the Republic Act 7835, employers must deduct the monthly employee contribution from their salary.
Housing loans from Pag-IBIG are known to help many Filipinos acquire homes with low-interest rates. Employers have to deduct at least P100 from the employee’s payroll and remit the amount to Home Development and Mutual Fund (HDMF).
Do not miss out on benefits and loans which the government has been specially devised for you. If you are unsure about the application of these benefits to your company, you can approach your Human Resource Department. They must be able to assist you when getting most of the said benefits too. Being an employee, you must know about your rights to these benefits.