How much should a househelper get as separation pay if she has worked with her employer for twelve years?
A househelper (kasambahay) is granted numerous benefits under the law. For instance, he or she is entitled to receive a monthly minimum wage of Two thousand five hundred pesos (P2,500.00) if he or she is employed within the National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila; Two thousand pesos (P2,000.00) if employed within chartered cities and first class municipalities; or One thousand five hundred pesos (P1,500.00) if employed in other municipalities (Section 24, Republic Act or RA 10361).
Apart from that, a kasambahay is entitled to daily and weekly rest periods, board, lodging, medical attendance, coverage from the Social Security System, Philhealth and Pag-IBIG, five-day service incentive leave for those who have rendered at least one year of service, and thirteenth month pay for those who have rendered at least one month of service.
Insofar as separation pay is concerned, a househelper is not entitled to receive such benefit if he or she was terminated on any of the causes enumerated under Section 34 of RA 10361, for the very reason that the law does not afford them such benefit. These causes are as follows: (a) Misconduct or willful disobedience by the domestic worker of the lawful order of the employer in connection with the former’s work; (b) Gross or habitual neglect or inefficiency by the domestic worker in the performance of duties; (c) Fraud or willful breach of the trust reposed by the employer on the domestic worker; (d) Commission of a crime or offense by the domestic worker against the person of the employer or any immediate member of the employer’s family; (e) Violation by the domestic worker of the terms and conditions of the employment contract and other standards set forth under this law; (f) Any disease prejudicial to the health of the domestic worker, the employer, or member/s of the household; and (g) Other causes analogous to the foregoing. In the same manner, a househelper will not be afforded any separation pay if he or she resignes or initiates the termination of the employment contract, unless such benefit is expressly provided for under his or her employment contract.
On the other hand, a kasambahay is entitled to such compensation, which he or she has already earned plus the equivalent of fifteen (15) days work, by way of indemnity, if he or she has been unjustly dismissed from employment. But it bears stressing that any unpaid salary due him or her not exceeding the equivalent fifteen (15) days work will be forfeited if the kasambahay leaves his or her employment without justifiable reason. In addition thereto, the employer may recover from the kasambahay the costs that he has incurred as deployment expenses, if any, if the service has been terminated within six (6) months from employment (Section 32, RA 10361).
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 email@example.com