I was employed as HR Assistant last February 2013. I resigned from work last October because of personal conflict with the management. I was expecting to receive after clearance my last pay, 13th month pay, service incentive leave pay and performance bonus.
An accounting staff said that I won’t be able to receive my service incentive leave pay because I have not rendered one year of service. At the same time, I cannot get a performance bonus, not even pro rated, because I did not last one year. Please advise me.
An employee who has voluntarily separated from work is entitled to be paid his benefits due to him under the law. One of the benefits which you are entitled as a resigned employee is the payment of your 13th month pay. Under the Revised Guideline on the Implementation of the 13th Month Pay Law, an employee who has resigned or whose service was 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 has worked during the calendar year up to the time of his resignation or termination from the service.
In addition to 13th month pay, you are also entitled to payment of your unpaid salary which you have earned before resignation. As to service incentive leave, you are not entitled to receive the monetary value thereof considering that you are employed in the company for about nine (9) months. According to Article 95 of the Labor Code, every employee who has rendered at least one year of service shall be entitled to a yearly service incentive leave of five (5) days with pay. On the other hand, performance bonus is an employment incentive which is not mandated under the Labor Code. This is one of the benefits which may be voluntarily given by the employer in the exercise of its management prerogative. In connection therewith, the employer may set out reasonable guidelines on how employees could avail the same. But once granted, the said benefit cannot be unilaterally withdrawn or reduced by the employer as this could be a violation of Article 100 of the Labor Code regarding prohibition against elimination or diminution of benefits.
In your case, the performance bonus given out by your employer could not be legally demandable if based on its guidelines one of the qualifications for its entitlement is service thereto for at least one year.
Please be reminded that the above legal opinion is solely based on our appreciation of the problem that you have stated. The opinion may vary when other facts are stated.