• Benefits end when employment contract is terminated

    2
    Persida Acosta

    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    I worked with my most recent employer for about ten months. As part of my allowance, the company shoulders the fee for my boarding house, which I am under contract until December 1, 2015. I filed my resignation last June 26, 2015, indicating it to be effective on July 18, 2015. My direct supervisor informed me that the management wants me to turn over my work immediately the day after I tendered my resignation and to no longer wait for July 18, 2015.

    Can I consider this as their silent way of terminating my employment? I feel that they are in a hurry for me to leave the company knowing that they have not yet provided the payment for my boarding house. My supervisor said that they will only shoulder the rent until the end of June, which I contested because my contract is until December 1, 2015.
    MJ

    Dear MJ,
    A contract of employment may be terminated at the instance of the employer on the basis of any of the just or authorized causes mentioned under Articles 282, 283 and 284 of the Labor Code of the Philippines.

    On the part of the employee, he or she may terminate the employment contract with or without just cause. If the termination is with just cause, the employee need not serve any notice of termination. The just causes mentioned under the law are as follows: (1) Serious insult by the employer or his representative on the honor and person of the employee; (2) Inhuman and unbearable treatment accorded the employee by the employer or his representative; (3) Commission of a crime or offense by the employer or his representative against the person of the employee or any of the immediate members of his family; and (4) Other causes analogous to any of the foregoing (Article 285 (b), Labor Code).

    On the other hand, if the termination of the contract of employment is initiated by the employee without any of the aforementioned just causes, he or she must serve a written notice on the employer at least one month in advance. The employer upon whom no such notice was served may hold the employee liable for damages. (Article 285 (a), Id.)

    If we look into the provisions of Article 285 (a), Id., it does not tilt to give advantage only to the employee. Rather, the said provision is beneficial to both the employee and employer wherein the employee is given an ample opportunity to sever ties with the employer for any reason outside of the just causes already mentioned, provided that notice is given, and the employer is given sufficient time to fill up the gap that will be left by the resigning employee.

    It is also worth emphasizing that the law imposes no obligation on the part of the employer to accept the effectivity date tendered by the resigning employee. Again, the period of “at least one month” under the law is for the benefit of the employer, for the transition of the work from the resigning employee to the person substituting the latter.

    Accordingly, we do not believe that your employer’s claim for you to turn over your work immediately is their silent way of terminating your employment. To be clear, you were the one who terminated your contract of employment. The fact that they required you for immediate turn over of work may only mean that they have accepted your resignation and, perhaps, they do not find any exigency to retain you until your intended date on July 18, 2015.

    Insofar as the payment of the fee for your boarding house, we believe that your employer is no longer obliged to pay for such until December 1, 2015 given the fact that you have already resigned. As you have mentioned, such benefit is merely an allowance by reason of your employment with the company. Since you have already severed your relationship with your employer last June 26, 2015, there is no more rhyme or reason for such benefit to continue.

    We hope that we were able to answer your queries. 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.

    Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net

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    2 Comments

    1. I know of a lawyer suspended by the Supreme Court for one year. During his period of suspension, what will happen to his existing clients? Can he still use his Letter head with the name and office address and contact number on it? The IBP recommended his suspension, can I directly report his continuing activity to the IBP or with the SC?

    2. Armando Villarante on

      Dear PAO,

      Is MJ entitled for payment of wages up to July 18, 2015 or only up to the last working day?