Resigned worker entitled to 13th month pay

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
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.

Dear Paolo,
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 But once granted, the said benefit cannot be unilaterally withdrawn or reduced by the employer as this could be a violation of Article 100 of the Labor Code regarding prohibition against elimination or diminution of benefits.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.


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  1. jansen penalosa on

    what do i get to my company if i resigned after 5yrs and 8months of service what can i expect for my back pay?thanks

  2. Hi! I hope all is well with you.
    I would like to ask if theres a prescription period for the release of final pay after resignation. I wonder if it is illegal to withhold what is due me for accomplishing the clearance more than a month after my resignation. Is it true that a company cannot release the 13th month beyond December 15?
    Your honor, I would sppreciate your advice. More power and God nless you.

  3. Maria Teresa Lumibao on


    I worked as HR for 5 years and 7 months. I got separated from my employer last nov. 16, 2013 for personal reasons. I have not processed my clearance yet for the understanding that i will not be cleared due to audit findings. My question is, will i still be entitled of the 13th month pay? is clearance pre – requisite for the release of 13th month pay?

    Thank you very much.

    • Dear PAO,

      I have the almost the same situation as Ms. Terasa Lumibao, I resigned 4 months before my said last date at the company, however, due to unwanted instance during work, I abruptly decided to leave work which is 10 days earlier than said last day of work.

      After several weeks, I decided to make up peace with my boss and messaged him. He accepted my apologies and said that I was forgiven.

      After which, I emailed him by cordially following up my 13th month pay (which was also mentioned in my work contract.)

      But he said that I am no longer entitled to it because I left my post abruptly.

      How can I pursue following up my entitlement?

      Please help.

      Thank you.

  4. Please advise if its legal to take two months salary if you don’t render two months notice even its stated in the contract. Also , Is it legal to withhold salary and 13th month pay if for example my last day is 31 Dec and employer said these will be only be paid on 18th of the following month which is 18 Jan.
    Thanks in advance

  5. Please advise if its legal to take two months salary if you don’t render two months notice. Also , Is it legal to withhold salary and 13th month pay if for example my last day is 31 Dec and employer said these will be on 18th the following month (18 Jan)?

  6. ggello po. may 3 po akng tan0ng.
    1. nasuspend po ako dhl po sa pglabag ko sa mga rules. ask ko lng po, ok lng po b na mgresign na ako kht nasuspend na?
    2. nung araw po ng sahod namin, un dn po ung araw na knausap ako sa opis. kaso po nd nila bngay ung sahod ko, makukuha ko pa kaya un?
    3. pag naterminate po b ang empleyado makukuha pdn po b nya ang bond at benefits nya gaya ng 13 mo. pay?
    pag ngresign po ba nd ko na mkukuha ung bond at sahod?

  7. with regards to the topic discussed, what timeframe do we usually have to wait to give us our back pay and 13th month pay after resigning last this October 2013?