My husband works as a cook for a well-off family. Is he entitled to receive SSS benefits?
Under Section 4 of Republic Act (RA) 10361, more commonly known as Domestic Workers Act or Batas Kasambahay, the term domestic worker refers to any person who is engaged in domestic work within an employment relationship such as, but not limited to: general househelp, nursemaid or yaya, cook, gardener, or laundry person. Those, however, who perform domestic work sporadically or on occasional basis do not fall within the ambit of this law.
In the situation of your husband, he may be entitled to Social Security benefits as the domestic worker of his employer if, for more than one month, he has been performing his tasks on an occupational basis, not merely occasionally or sporadically. Section 30 of RA 10361 provides: “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, and shall be entitled to all the benefits in accordance with the pertinent provisions provided by law. x x x Premium payments or contributions shall be shouldered by the employer. If, however, the domestic worker is receiving a wage of Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) and above per month, the domestic worker shall pay the proportionate share in the premium payments or contributions, as provided by law.”
Should his employer refuse or fail to remit the appropriate SSS contributions in favor of your husband, he or she may be dealt with according to law. As stated under Section 40 of RA 10361: “Any violation of the provisions of this Act declared unlawful shall be punishable with a fine of not less than Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) but not more than Forty thousand pesos (P40,000.00) without prejudice to the filing of appropriate civil or criminal action by the aggrieved party.” It is further explicitly provided under Section 28 of RA 8282 or the Social Security Law: “(e) Whoever fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of this Act or with the rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission, shall be punished by a fine of not less than Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) nor more than Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00), or imprisonment for not less than six (6) years and one (1) day nor more than twelve (12) years or both, at the discretion of the court: x x x”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org