Are you enjoying your benefits as an employee?
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 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 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
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 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 properly file for vacation leave and the specific guideline your company has for these benefits. However, this benefit is not applicable 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. You also have an option to extend the maternity leave for 30 more days but it will no longer be with pay.
A working mother is also given the option to share seven (7) days of her maternity leave to the father of the child regardless if they are married or not. In the absence of the father, this benefit can extend up to the fourth-degree relative, This is only applicable for the first four deliveries.
Single mothers will also be granted an additional of 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 his legitimate spouse gives birth to their child. With the Expanded Maternity Leave Act, his wife or the mother of his child can give him seven days more of paternity leave. Just like the maternity leave, the paternity leave is only applicable for the first four deliveries.
Solo Parent Leave
If you are 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 there are school activities that require your attendance or on graduation days. Parental leave is also a paid leave 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 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. 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, brother, sister, spouse, and parents-in-law. When you get back to work, make sure that 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 typhoon? 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. Your company can also have the initiative to cancel the day’s operation if it is deemed 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 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 an 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 the Social Security System.
Under the 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 with 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 1% to 2% from the employee’s payroll and 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 13 th 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 13 th 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 of salary. Your employer has been doing the 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 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 benefits. They should be willing to help you understand the benefits you are entitled to and help you claim them when you need it the most.