The fine print of a job contract for a ‘kasambahay’

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Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
Dina referred to me her distant relative named Sharon to be my all-around kasambahay. I was convinced to give Sharon a contract after she passed the character background check, and after I learned that she was forced to seek employment here in Manila in order to send her son to college. What I would like to know are the terms and conditions that should be included in the contract of employment for Sharon, and what are the social benefits that she is entitled to. Please guide me on this matter.
Arsenio

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Dear Arsenio,
The law governing a contract for a kasambahay is found under Section 11, Article III of Republic Act 10361 or the Domestic Workers Act or Batas Kasambahay, which states:

“An employment contract shall be executed by and between the domestic worker and the employer before the commencement of the service in a language or dialect understood by both the domestic worker and the employer. The domestic worker shall be provided a copy of the duly signed employment contract, which must include the following:

(a) Duties and responsibilities of the domestic worker;
(b) Period of employment;
(c) Compensation;
(d) Authorized deductions;
(e) Hours of work and proportionate additional payment;
(f) Rest days and allowable leaves;
(g) Board, lodging and medical attention;
(h) Agreements on deployment expenses, if any;
(i) Loan agreement;
(j) Termination of employment; and
(k) Any other lawful condition agreed upon by both parties.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) shall develop a model employment contract for domestic workers which shall, at all times, be made available free of charge to domestic workers, employers, representative organizations and the general public. The DoLE shall widely disseminate information to domestic workers and employers on the use of such model employment contract.

In cases where the employment of the domestic worker is facilitated through a private employment agency, the
PEA [private employment agency]shall keep a copy of all employment contracts of domestic workers and shall be made available for verification and inspection by the DoLE.”
Relative thereto, Section 30, Article IV of the same law, also states:

“A domestic worker who has rendered at least one (1) month of service shall be covered by the Social Security System (SSS), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG, and shall be entitled to all the benefits in accordance with the pertinent provisions provided by law.

Premium payments or contributions shall be shouldered by the employer. If the domestic worker, however, is receiving a wage of Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) and above per month, the domestic worker shall pay the proportionate share in the premium payments or contributions, as provided by law.
The domestic worker shall be entitled to all other benefits under existing laws.”

Thus, aside from the terms and conditions that should be included in the contract of employment for Sharon, it is also necessary that she shall be covered by the SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG. Premium payments shall be shouldered by the employer; if, however, Sharon will receive a salary of P5,000.00 per month, she shall pay her proportionate share in the premium contributions.

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 dearpao@manilatimes.net

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