My supervisor told me and my two co-employees that we will be terminated on or before October this year because our services will no longer be needed since the company is about to purchase machines that will do the exact services that we are rendering. I just want to know if this can be legally done to us. What benefits will we get assuming they really push through with our termination?
Not all terminations of employees are considered unlawful or illegal. Our laws have enumerated the just and authorized causes for which an employer may validly terminate the services of an employee and these are specifically mentioned under Articles 282, 283 and 284 of Presidential Decree 442, as amended, or the Labor Code of the Philippines.
In the situation that you have presented, we believe that the applicable legal provision is Article 283 of the code. As provided therein, “The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to the installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Title, x x x” (Emphasis supplied)
Nevertheless, it is necessary that such termination be done by your employer with due process. As stated under Section 2, Paragraph 3, Rule 1, Book VI of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code, the requirement of due process is complied with upon the service by the employer of a written notice to the employee as well as the appropriate Regional Office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) at least thirty (30) days before the effectivity of the termination, specifying therein the ground/s for such termination.
Supposing your employer proceeds with your termination, in compliance with the above-mentioned tenets, you are entitled to receive a separation pay that is equivalent to at least your one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for every year of your service, whichever is higher. (Article 283, Id.) You may also claim your unpaid salaries, if there are any, as well as your 13th month pay, which shall be in proportion to the length of time you worked for this year, reckoned from the time you started this year up to the time of your termination. You may also demand such other benefits expressly granted under your contract of employment or collective bargaining agreement, should there be any.
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