My parents arrived from Canada last week. I am looking for two house helpers to look after them since they will be staying in our family home in Candelaria, Quezon, and my family is staying in Las Piñas City. What are the requirements that I can ask from interested applicants? Do we have any law providing for the things that must be written in the employment contract of domestic workers or house helpers?
The law that addresses your question is Republic Act (RA) 10361 (An Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers), to wit:
“Section 11. Employment Contract. – 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;
(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.
“Section 12. Pre-Employment Requirement. – Prior to the execution of the employment contract, the employer may require the following from the domestic worker:
“(a) Medical certificate or a health certificate issued by a local government health officer;
(b) Barangay and police clearance;
(c) National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance; and
(d) Duly authenticated birth certificate or if not available, any other document showing the age of the domestic worker such as voter’s identification card, baptismal record or passport.
“The cost of the foregoing shall be borne by the prospective employer or agency, as the case may be” (Emphases supplied).
Applying the above-mentioned law in your situation, you or your parents may require a medical certificate issued by a local government health officer, barangay clearance, police clearance, NBI clearance, and a duly authenticated birth certificate from the domestic worker prior to the execution of the employment contract.
Furthermore, the law provides that an employment contract shall be executed by and between the domestic worker/house helper and the employer before the commencement of the employment. Such contract must be written in a language or dialect understood by both parties and must include the duties and responsibilities of the house helper, period of employment, compensation, hours of work, rest days, board and lodging and other stipulations agreed upon by both the employer and the domestic worker.
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org