Nanny, employer can’t terminate active contract

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Dear PAO,
My cousin works as a “yaya” [babysitter]. She wants to leave her present job. Is there anything that she needs to consider before informing her employer about her intention to leave?
Jeleen

Dear Jeleen,
First and foremost, your cousin must take into account the fact that she has an existing contract with her employer. This being the case, she is obliged to continue performing her tasks as a “yaya” until her contract expires or until the same is terminated pursuant to law.

This is in consonance with Article 1159 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines which provides that, “obligations arising from contracts have the force of law between the contracting parties and should be complied with in good faith.”

Furthermore, Section 32 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10361, otherwise known as the Domestic Workers Act or “Batas Kasambahay” states that, as a general rule, neither the domestic worker nor the employer is allowed to terminate the contract of employment before the expiration of the term thereof.


However, Section 33 of the said law provides that a domestic worker may terminate her employment at any time before the expiration of her contract if it is based on any of the following grounds: (a) verbal or emotional abuse of the domestic worker by the employer or any member of the household; (b) inhuman treatment including physical abuse of the domestic worker by the employer or any member of the household; (c) commission of a crime or offense against the domestic worker by the employer or any member of the household; (d) violation by the employer of the terms and conditions of the employment contract and other standards set forth under this law; (e) any disease prejudicial to the health of the domestic worker, the employer, or member/s of the household; and (f) other causes analogous to the foregoing.

Accordingly, it would be prudent on the part of your cousin to review the provisions of her contract of employment first, if she and her employer have executed one, to determine whether the term thereof has already expired. If the term has expired, then she may inform her employer of her desire to leave her employment. If the contract has not yet expired, then she may not leave said employment, unless any of the abovementioned causes exists.

Nevertheless, if your cousin and her employer do not have a written contract or the duration of her service could not be determined by the nature of her work, then she may submit a notice to her employer informing the latter of her desire to end their working relationship five (5) days before the date she intends to leave (Section 32 (2), R.A. No. 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.

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