I am a regular employee of a call center company in Taguig City (Metro Manila). The account was pulled out by the client so I was placed on a floating status without pay. The company relayed to me that they can place me under floating status for a period not exceeding six months. I am now in my 5th month as a floating employee. When I had a medical check-up this month, the doctor advised me to have a complete bed rest. I would like to file a sick leave. Can I avail of this benefit?
Sick leaves of private employees are governed by the employment contract they have signed or the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). In your situation, you have to review your contract of employment or the existing CBA, if there is any. It is discretionary on the part of the employer if he will grant this benefit to his employee.
Presidential Decree (PD) 442 as amended or the Labor Code of the Philippines does not contain any specific provision pertaining to sick leave. What has been provided is a provision on service incentive leave. Article 95 of the code provides:
“Every employee who has rendered at least one year of service shall be entitled to a yearly service incentive leave of five days with pay.
This provision shall not apply to those who are already enjoying the benefit herein provided, those enjoying vacation leave with pay of at least five days and those employed in establishments exempted from granting this benefit by the Secretary of Labor and Employment after considering the viability or financial condition of such establishment.”
The company can also place you on floating status provided it will not exceed six (6) months. Floating status means an indefinite period of time when one does not receive any salary or financial benefit provided by law (Mojar et al. vs Agro Commercial Security Service Agency Inc., et al., G.R. No. 187188). This situation is covered by Article 286 of PD 442 as amended:
“The bona fide suspension of the operation of business or undertaking for a period not exceeding six (6) months, or the fulfillment by the employee of a military or civic duty shall not terminate employment. In all such cases, the employer shall reinstate the employee to his former position without loss of seniority rights if he indicates his desire to resume his work not later than one month from the resumption of operations of his employer or from his relief from military or civic duty.”
We hope that we have answered your query. Our legal opinion may vary if other facts are stated 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 email@example.com