6 Best Benefits Filipino Employees Should Not Miss
Are you enjoying your employee benefits?
With March just around the corner, it’s almost the season of graduation. Soon, fresh graduates will join the working force as novices.
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 employee benefits as mandated by the Labor Code.
What’s in it for the entrepreneurs? If you hire people in your company, 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,” protects Filipinos from unfair employment and promotes equal work opportunities to avoid biases. Whether you are on probationary or already a regular worker, you have rights to employee 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 on the list. It has a separate law created for them. According to Republic Act No. 10361 known as the 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
Employee benefits are not all about an increase in payroll or extra credit. Instead, there are other perks you can avail of from your company.
Leaves from Companies
We are all at risk of burnout. Sometimes we just need to take things easy and relieve our stress with rest and vacation. This is why we have leave benefits.
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 vacation leave and still get paid during those days.
Just note that you must file your leave ahead of time. Ask your HR Officer how you can properly file for vacation leave and your company’s specific guidelines for these employee benefits. However, this benefit does not apply to companies with less than 10 employees.
The recently-signed Republic Act No. 11210, or the Expanded Maternity Leave Act, grants mothers up to 105 days of paid maternity leave to all working mothers. In addition, you have the option to extend the maternity leave for 30 more days, but it will no longer be with pay.
Also, a working mother can share seven (7) days of her maternity leave with the child’s father, regardless of marital status. In the absence of the father, this benefit can extend up to the fourth-degree relative. This only applies to the first four deliveries.
Furthermore, single mothers will have an additional 15 days of paid maternity leave.
DOH-CHD 6 Regional Director Marlyn Convocar shared that the extension of maternity leave was pushed to ensure good primary health care practice. Mothers can have more time to breastfeed their babies to ensure their health.
According to Republic Act No. 8187, or Paternity Leave Act of 1996, married fathers can have a seven-day leave if their legitimate spouse gives birth to their child. With the Expanded Maternity Leave Act, his wife or child’s mother can give him seven days more of paternity leave. Just like maternity leave, paternity leave only applies to the first four deliveries. In addition, it applies to fathers who work abroad. You can seek SSS Paternity Benefits for OFW.
Solo Parent Leave
As a solo parent, you can have parental leave for seven days every year as an additional benefit. You can take parental leaves when your kids are sick, when school activities require your attendance, or on graduation days. Also, Parental leave serves as paid as mandated by Republic Act No. 8972. But you must present your Solo Parent ID to avail of this benefit.
Special Leave Benefits for Women
Women employees who have undergone surgery due to gynecological disorders have two months’ leave with full pay. The specifications are under Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women. Moreover, victims of violence against women can have 10 days’ leave with full pay as mandated by R.A. 9262.
You can take a three-day leave when an immediate family member passes away. This includes children, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, spouse, and parents-in-law. When you return to work, ensure you have a copy of the death certificate to be passed to your HR department.
Are you still required to report to work despite the floods and typhoons? You have the right to take a two-day leave if your area is affected by flood, fire, and typhoon. Take note that your leave must be supported by a Government proclamation. Also, your company can have the initiative to cancel the day’s operation if it is dangerous for employees to go to work.
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 regular meals and short breaks. If they require you to work beyond 10 pm or before 6 am, they will be paid an additional 10% as night differential pay.
Social Security System (SSS) Contributions and Employee Benefits
Republic Act No. 8282, or the Social Security Act of 1997, mandates employers to ensure that their employees are members of the Social Security System.
Under the SSS Employees’ Compensation (EC) program, SSS members can get compensation in the event of sickness, maternity, disability, old age, and death. Also, the employers must 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 action. Employees can get various loans from SSS, too, with lower interest rates compared to most banks.
PhilHealth Employee Benefits and Contributions
Of course, as an employee, you must have heard of PhilHealth’s financial assistance. While this institution offers limited coverage, it could help most Filipinos, especially mothers, during deliveries. In accordance with the Republic Act 7835, employers must deduct the monthly employee contribution from their salary.
Pag-IBIG Employee Benefits
Housing loans from Pag-IBIG helped many Filipinos acquire homes with low-interest rates.
Employers must deduct 1% to 2% from the employee’s payroll. They must remit the amount to Home Development and Mutual Fund (HDMF).
13th Month Pay
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 must 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 from back until December. Simply, your employer keeps one-twelfth part of your salary. By the end of the year, it will be equivalent to your one month’s worth of salary. Your employer has been saving for you until the Christmas season.
As the famous adage says, “Lamang ang may alam.”
You have various benefits that you must enjoy and avail to take care of your finances, psychological well-being, and physical health.
Do not miss out on employee benefits and loans which the government has been creating for you.
Approach your human resource personnel if you are unsure about the implementation of these benefits in your company. Being an employee, you must know your rights to these employee benefits. They should be willing to help you understand the benefits you are entitled to and help you claim them when you need them the most.
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