I have been hiring house helpers for several years now. I had bad experiences with some of them because of the shady background that some of them had, like having a criminal record or even being wanted for a crime in their respective provinces. Because of this, I plan on requiring the new house helper applicants to get and submit to me their NBI and barangay (village) clearances, so that I can be sure about their background. Am I permitted under the law to require these documents from house helpers whom I will hire in the future? And if this is allowed, who will shoulder the costs of these documentary requirements? I hope for your advice.
Under the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 10361, known as the Domestic Workers Act or Batas Kasambahay, employers are allowed to require from a kasambahay the submission of some pertinent documents as part of her pre-employment requirements. According to the law:
“Section 4. Pre-Employment Requirements. – Prior to employment, the employer may require the following from the kasambahay:
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 kasambahay such as voter’s identification card, baptismal record or passport.
The foregoing shall be standard requirements when the employment of the kasambahay is facilitated though a PEA [ Private Employment Agency].
The cost of the foregoing shall be borne by the prospective employer or the agency, as the case may be.” (Sec. 4, Rule II, IRR, RA 10361) Emphasis supplied.
It is clearly stated in the cited provision that the employer may legally require the abovementioned documents, including the NBI and barangay (village) clearances, to be submitted by the prospective house helper prior to her employment. There is nothing wrong with requiring the documents as they are not only reasonable but also a way by which employers can practice diligence in hiring their employees for their own safety considering the trust usually given to house helpers in handling their daily household chores. In fact, the law also states that these requirements are standard for the employment of house helpers under employment agencies. (Ibid.)
The law explicitly states that expenses for getting such documents shall be shouldered by the employer or the agency of the house helper. (Id.) As such, while you may legally require these documents from your prospective house helpers, you will have to pay for the fees in obtaining such pre-employment documents.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
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