I just resigned from office due to personal reasons. I want to know if I am entitled to 13th month pay despite being resigned and worked for only five months as a cashier.
Thirteenth (13th) month pay is the mandatory benefit given to a rank and file employee as an additional compensation from his/her employee. It is equivalent to one twelfth (1/12) of the basic salary of an employee within a calendar year (Presidential Decree 851 as amended by Memorandum Order No. 28 Series of 1986).
To determine whether one is a rank and file employee or not, the Revised Guidelines on the Implementation of the 13th- Month Pay Law provides:
“The Labor Code distinguishes a rank and file employee from a managerial employee. It provides that a managerial employee is one who is vested with powers of prerogatives to lay down and execute management policies and/or to hire, transfer, suspend, lay-off, recall discharge, assign or discipline employees, or to effectively recommend such managerial actions. All employees not falling within this definition are considered rank and file employees.
The above distinction shall be used as guide for the purpose of determining who are rank and file employees entitled to the mandated 13th month pay.”
It is clear from the abovementioned law that you are qualified to receive 13th month pay, being a rank and file employee during your stint as a cashier prior to your resignation.
Likewise, according to the said guidelines, a resigned employee may receive his prorated 13th month pay, to wit:
“An employee who has resigned or whose services were terminated at any time before the time for payment of the 13th month pay is entitled to this monetary benefit in proportion to the length of time he worked during the year, reckoned from the time he started working during the calendar year up to the time of his resignation or termination from the service. Thus, if he worked only from January up to September his proportionate 13th month pay should be equivalent of 1/12 his total basic salary he earned during that period.
The payment of the 13th month pay may be demanded by the employee upon the cessation of employer-employee relationship. This is consistent with the principle of equity that as the employer can require the employee to clear himself of all liabilities and property accountability, so can the employee demand the payment of all benefits due him upon the termination of the relationship.”
Since according to you, you have served your employer for a total of five months prior to your resignation, you are entitled to receive a prorated 13th month pay from your employer which is equivalent to one twelfth of your total basic salary for the five months that you were employed.
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