Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, whose instructions to effect smooth implementation of the rules and regulations governing Republic Act No. 10361, otherwise known as An Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers, or more commonly known as Batas Kasambahay, yesterday said the DOLE has caused the translation of the Service and Recruitment contracts for Public Recruitment and Placement Agencies (PRPA) under the Kasambahay Law into 12 local languages.
“Yes, the Service and Recruitments contracts for PRPAs under the Kasambahay Law has been translated into 12 local languages for easy understanding,” she said in a statement.
“User-friendly documents, such as these contracts, written in plain and easily-understandable language, could cultivate a healthy and dynamic relationship between the employer and employee,” she added.
The labor and employment chief observed that the only difference between these translated contracts and those legalistically drafted is enforcement. She explained that as more kasambahay and employers become aware of their rights, they are spared from the hassle–saves them time, money, and effort–of ensuring that the legal force and the rights sought to be protected are intact.
According to Baldoz, the Bureau of Local Employment had caused the translation of both the service and recruitment contracts into Bicolano; Cebuano; Chavacano; Hiligaynon; Ilokano; Kapampangan; Maguindanawon; Meranao; Pangasinense; Filipino (Tagalog); Tausug; and Waray.
“The translation is one of the BLE’s initiatives under its Labor Market Information dissemination mandate, while the formulation and drafting of the contracts was the initiative of the Bureau of Working Conditions, another DOLE bureau.
“The service contract for kasambahay is a binding covenant that sets the balance for the protection of both employer and household service workers (HSWs). It guarantees a system that affords both parties their own rights when they recruit or hire household service workers (HSWs), and when they accept a job offer from a potential employer,” Baldoz said.
“In effect, the contract puts on record all transactions between both parties. Thus, creating an effective mechanism to back-track on agreements and facilitate the necessary redemption for the aggrieved party,” Baldoz explained.
Among the contents of the contract are the following responsibilities of the PRPAs, to wit: (a) ensure that the kasambahay is qualified as required by the employer; (b) secure the best terms and conditions of employment for the kasambahay; (c) ensure that the employment agreement between the kasambahay and the employer stipulates the terms and conditions of employment and all the benefits in accordance with this IRR; (d) provide pre-employment orientation debriefing to the kasambahay and the employer about their rights and responsibilities; and (e) ensure that the kasambahay is not charged or required to pay any recruitment or placement fees.
The contract also directs PRPAs to undertake the following in facilitating the employment of HSWs: (a) keep copies of employment contracts and agreements pertaining to recruited kasambahay which shall be made available during inspections, or whenever required by the DOLE or local government officials; (b) assist the kasambahay in filing complaints and grievances against employers; (c) cooperate with government agencies in rescue operations involving abused or exploited kasambahay; and (d) assume joint and solidary liability with the employer for payment of wages, wage-related and other benefits, including monthly contribution for SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG membership.
“The PRPAs are also tasked to facilitate the replacement of kasambahay within one month from the day he/she reported for work. The agency must grant the employer a qualified replacement at no additional cost to the employer,” Baldoz explained, adding:
“The employer shall be entitled to a refund of 75 percent of the fees paid to the private employment agency, if the latter failed to provide a qualified replacement after the lapse of one month from receipt of request for replacement.”
The Kasambahay Law is a landmark piece of labor and social legislation that recognizes for the first-time domestic workers as similar to those in the formal sector. It is expected to benefit at least 1.9 million domestic workers, such as househelp, nannies, laundrywomen, cooks and others.
The law fulfills the country’s obligation to enact a national legislation in compliance with the International Labor Organization’s Convention 189 which sets new international standards for the protection of household helpers. PNA