8th Apr 2013

Republic Act No. 10381 or the “Batas Kasambahay” is the law governing the rights and liabilities of both the househelps or domestic workers and their respective employers or “amo”.

The Batas Kasambahay requires an Employment Contract be executed between the domestic worker and the employer before the commencement of the service in a language or dialect understood by both of them. The Employment Contract must include the duties and responsibilities of the domestic worker, period of employment, compensation, authorized deductions, hours of work and proportionate additional payment, rest days and allowable leaves, board, lodging and medical attention, agreements on deployment expenses, if any, loan agreement, termination of employment and any other lawful condition agreed upon by both parties.

Prior to the execution of the employment contract, at the option of the employer and at his own cost, the employer may require the following from the domestic worker:

(a) Medical certificate or a health certificate issued by a local government health officer;
(b) Barangay and police clearance;
(c) National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance; and
(d) Duly authenticated birth certificate or if not available, any other document showing the age of the domestic worker such as voter’s identification card, baptismal record or passport.

If employment of the domestic worker is done through a private employment agency, these documents are mandatory and should be paid for by the employment agency.

It is the obligation of the employer to register his or her domestic worker in the Registry of Domestic Workers in the barangay where the employer resides.

The minimum wage for domestic workers shall not be less than P2,500 a month for those employed in the National Capital Region, P2,000 a month for those employed in chartered cities and first class municipalities; and P1,500 a month for those employed in other municipalities.

Under the Batas Kasambahay, the employer shall provide the domestic worker with a copy of a pay slip indicating the amount paid in cash every pay day and deductions made. Copies of the pay slip shall be kept by the employer for 3 years.

In addition, a domestic worker who has rendered at least one (1) month of service shall be covered by the Social Security System (SSS), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG.

Premium payments or contributions shall be shouldered by the employer except if the domestic worker is receiving a wage of P5,000.00 and above per month, in which case, the domestic worker shall pay the proportionate share in the premium payments or contributions.

Moreover, a domestic worker who has rendered at least one (1) year of service shall be entitled to an annual service incentive leave of five (5) days with pay. It must be emphasized that any unused leaves are neither carried over to the succeeding years nor convertible to cash.

Neither the domestic worker nor the employer may terminate the contract before the expiration of the term except for grounds provided by the law.

The domestic worker may terminate the employment relationship at any time before the expiration of the contract for any of the following causes:

(a) Verbal or emotional abuse of the domestic worker by the employer or any member of the household;
(b) Inhuman treatment including physical abuse of the domestic worker by the employer or any member of the household;
(c) Commission of a crime or offense against the domestic worker by the employer or any member of the household;
(d) Violation by the employer of the terms and conditions of the employment contract and other standards set forth under this law;
(e) Any disease prejudicial to the health of the domestic worker, the employer, or member/s of the household; and
(f) Other causes analogous to the foregoing.

On the other hand, an employer may terminate the services of the domestic worker at any time before the expiration of the contract, for any of the following causes:

(a) Misconduct or willful disobedience by the domestic worker of the lawful order of the employer in connection with the former’s work;
(b) Gross or habitual neglect or inefficiency by the domestic worker in the performance of duties;
(c) Fraud or willful breach of the trust reposed by the employer on the domestic worker;
(d) Commission of a crime or offense by the domestic worker against the person of the employer or any immediate member of the employer’s family;
(e) Violation by the domestic worker of the terms and conditions of the employment contract and other standards set forth under this law;
(f) Any disease prejudicial to the health of the domestic worker, the employer, or member/s of the household; and
(g) Other causes analogous to the foregoing.

If the domestic worker is unjustly dismissed, the domestic worker shall be paid the compensation already earned plus the equivalent of fifteen (15) days work by way of indemnity. If the domestic worker leaves without justifiable reason, any unpaid salary due not exceeding the equivalent fifteen (15) days work shall be forfeited. Furthermore, if the service has been terminated within six (6) months from the domestic worker’s employment., the employer may recover from the domestic worker costs incurred related to the deployment expenses.

The domestic worker and the employer may mutually agree upon written notice to pre-terminate the contract of employment to end the employment relationship.

Upon the severance of the employment relationship, the employer shall issue the domestic worker within five (5) days from request a certificate of employment indicating the nature, duration of the service and work performance.

For the protection of the employer, all communication and information pertaining to the employer or members of the household shall be treated as privileged and confidential, and shall not be publicly disclosed by the domestic worker during and after employment. Such privileged information shall be inadmissible in evidence except when the suit involves the employer or any member of the household in a crime against persons, property, personal liberty and security, and chastity.

Nicolas & De Vega Law Offices is a full-service firm in the Philippines. We are located at the 16th Flr., Suite 1607 AIC Burgundy Empire Tower, ADB Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. You may reach us via e-mail at info@ndvlaw.com

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