The passage of the Kasambahay Law has spawned confusion in our household regarding our maids. What are my obligations to my maids regarding their benefits and leaves? Thank you.
Republic Act (R.A.) No 10361, otherwise known as the “Batas Kasambahay” aims to protect our kasambahay by mandating their employers to provide certain benefits they did not previously enjoy under our existing labor laws. It also aims to protect employers in the sense that it requires the submission of certain requirements to ensure the identity of the kasambahay.
As to your obligations regarding benefits and leaves, R.A. No 10361 provides that the employer shall safeguard the health and safety of the domestic worker (Section 19). The employer shall provide an aggregate daily rest period of eight (8) hours a day (Section 20) and the kasambahay shall be entitled to at least twenty-four (24) consecutive hours of rest in a week. The weekly rest period shall be agreed upon in writing by the employer and the kasambahay (Section 21). In lieu of a consecutive 24-hour rest period, they may agree to either offset a day of absence with a particular rest day, waive a particular rest day in return for an equivalent daily rate of pay, accumulating rest days not exceeding five (5) days, or other similar arrangements.
The employer must ensure that the minimum wage of the kasambahay shall not be less than two thousand five hundred pesos (P2,500) a month if employed in the National Capital Region, two thousand pesos (P2,000) a month if employed in chartered cities and first class municipalities, and one thousand five hundred pesos (P1,500) a month for those employed in other municipalities. Their wages must be paid on time and in cash directly to the kasambahay. The new law also requires a 13th month pay for the kasambahay. The employer is now required to issue a pay slip for every pay day (Sections 25 and 26).
In addition, the kasambahay is entitled to an annual service incentive leave of five (5) days if he or she has rendered at least one (1) year of service. These leaves are not cumulative, cannot be carried over to the succeeding years and are not convertible to cash (Section 29). The kasambahay is also entitled to coverage under the Social Security System (SSS), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and the Home Development Fund or Pag-IBIG. The premium for the said benefits shall be shouldered by the employer, unless the domestic worker is receiving a wage of five thousand pesos (P5,000) or higher every month. In this case, the kasambahay shall pay the proportionate share in the premium payments or contributions, as provided by law (Section 30).
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.