Labor law mum on sick leave

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Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I am enjoying ten sick leave benefits per year with my present private company. Any unused leave credit can be converted to cash. I would just like to know if the management has the right to charge the employees’ late/tardiness to her sick leave credits without consent.
Jheng

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Dear Jheng,
Sick leave benefits and vacation leave benefits are not specifically mentioned under the law. What our law simply provides is that private employees are entitled to a yearly service incentive leave of five days with pay, provided that said employees have rendered at least one year of service with the concerned employer, and that they are not: (a) already enjoying similar benefit, (b) enjoying vacation leave with pay of at least five days, (c) employed in establishments regularly employing less than 10 employees or in establishments exempted from granting this benefit by the Secretary of Labor and Employment after considering the viability or financial condition of such establishment, and (d) managerial employees and field personnel whose works are unsupervised by the employers (Article 95, Labor Code of the Philippines in relation to Section 1, Rule V, Book III, Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code of the Philippines).

Accordingly, the grant of your employer of 10 sick leave benefits per year is not directly pursuant to law. It may be attributed to the provisions of your contract of employment, existing company policies, rules and regulations, or by virtue of a collective bargaining agreement.

There is nothing wrong with these kinds of agreements and they can bind both employer and employee once agreed upon, as long as the provisions thereof are not contrary to law (which means that the employer should not provide lesser leave benefits as that mentioned under Article 95, Id.), morals, good customs, public order, or public policy (Article 1306, New Civil Code of the Philippines).

Of course, the privilege of being granted sick leave benefits as well as vacation leave benefits by employers may very well carry with it certain limitations and restrictions. For instance, the numerical or monetary value of an employee’s tardiness may be charged or taken from his or her existing sick leave credits, irrespective of the consent of the employee, if it is so provided under pertinent agreements. Hence, it will be prudent for all employees to carefully read and study their respective contracts of employment, company policies, rules and regulations, or collective bargaining agreement, if there be any, so as to familiarize themselves not only with the benefits being granted to them by their employers but also with the limitations and restrictions thereof.

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 dearpao@manilatimes.net

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