I just want to know if I should be given a one-month vacation leave. I have been the cashier/registrar in a private school for nine years. Last year, I received the cash conversion of my one-month vacation leave. It was the first time in my nine years of service. Now, they are telling us that it was a mere oversight that we received a one-month leave or its conversion. Please help me clarify the issue.
Unfortunately, our laws do not require employers to provide their employees with vacation leaves. The leaves mandated by law are service incentive leave, paternity leave, maternity leave, and solo-parent leave.
Service incentive leave (SIL) is a right of employees under the Labor Code. Article 95 of this law provides that every employee who has rendered at least one year of service shall be entitled to a yearly SIL of five days with pay. However, an SIL is not available to employees who are enjoying vacation leaves with pay of at least five days and those employed in establishments regularly employing less than ten employees or in establishments exempted from granting this benefit by the Secretary of Labor after considering the viability or financial condition of such establishments.
Nowhere in the Labor Code is it stated that employees have a right to sick leave or vacation leave. Therefore, the grant of vacation leaves depends on the voluntary policy of the employer or if it is provided in the collective bargaining agreement of the employer and employees (C.A. Azucena, Everyone’s Labor Code, 2007 ed., p. 75).
Therefore, to know whether you are entitled to a vacation leave and its cash conversion, you must look into company policy or the existing collective bargaining agreement, if any.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
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