Poor health of ‘kasambahay’ a ground for termination of job contract

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Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I have been working as a kasambahay here in Manila for almost 10 years now. My work is so hard that I started losing weight and became sickly because of lack of sleep. I consulted a doctor regarding my health problem and he advised me to rest for at least a month. I presented my medical certificate to my employer and my intention to resign. My employer, however, said I cannot resign until after three months. He added that if I leave my work without his consent, he will file an appropriate case against me. Can I leave my work without the permission of my employer?
Belen

Dear Belen,
The general rule that is provided under Section 32, Article V of Republic Act 10361 is “neither the domestic worker nor the employer may terminate the contract before the expiration of the term except for grounds provided for in Sections 33 and 34 of this Act. xxx xxx xxx.”

So, if there is a term provided in the employment contract, neither the employer nor the kasambahay may terminate the contract subject to the exemptions mentioned above.

Section 33 of the same law as stated in the first paragraph provides, “The domestic worker may terminate the employment relationship at any time before the expiration of the contract for any of the following causes: xxx (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.” (Emphasis supplied)


Having a disease that is prejudicial to the health of a kasambahay is a valid ground for pre-termination of the contract of employment. There is no legal basis for your employer to refuse your resignation after you informed him of your reason, otherwise, he will be violating the provisions of the Batas Kasambahay.

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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