My wife is working in a private school in Taguig City (Metro Manila). One morning, she arrived seven minutes late for work. Because of the owner’s disappointment, she informed the employees that she will be implementing a new rule in which, aside from the deduction in the salary for every minute late, another ₱50.00 will be deducted. Also, if an employee arrives past 9 o’clock in the morning, he or she is already considered absent for the day. Can the owner of the school enforce such kind of policies?
Please be informed that according to Article 113 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, the following are the permissible deductions from wages:
Art. 113. Wage deduction. No employer, in his own behalf or in behalf of any person, shall make any deduction from the wages of his employees, except:
1) In cases where the worker is insured with his consent by the employer, and the deduction is to recompense the employer for the amount paid by him as premium on the insurance;
2) For union dues, in cases where the right of the worker or his union to check-off has been recognized by the employer or authorized in writing by the individual worker concerned; and
3) In cases where the employer is authorized by law or regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.
With regard to deductions because of tardiness or absences, the same may be lawfully deducted from the wages of the workers, provided that the same were properly computed. In computing the proper amount of deduction for wages, the equivalent daily rate of the employee concerned should be used as the basis thereof. In short, the same should be proportionate and that the deduction should not be arbitrary.
As for the implementation of the rule on absence after 9 o’clock in the morning, please know the basic principle in labor that says “no work, no pay.” Thus, when the employee, though tardy, was able to work for the rest of the day, he or she is entitled to that proportionate amount of wage equal to the work he or she rendered. If the same was denied or not paid to him or her, there may be a violation of the above-stated provision of law, apt for intervention by the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) or the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org