Wednesday, August 21, 2013

House helpers in Metro Manila get P2,500 monthly pay

Dear PAO,
What is the minimum wage for house helpers? What other benefits do employers need to give their house helpers? Are those helpers who are not “stay-in” included?

Dear George,

As provided for under Section 24 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10361, otherwise known as the Domestic Workers Act or Batas Kasambahay, domestic workers are entitled to the following minimum wage: (a) Two Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (P2,500.00) a month for those employed in the National Capital Region (NCR); (b) Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000.00) a month for those employed in chartered cities and first class municipalities; and (c) One Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (P1,500.00) a month for those employed in other municipalities.

Aside from the grant of minimum wage, domestic workers are entitled to receive the following benefits from their employers: (1) Daily and weekly rest period; (2) Annual service incentive leave of five days with pay for those who have rendered at least one year of service; (3) Thirteenth month pay which is not less than one-twelfth of the basic salary for those who have rendered at least one month of service; (4) Coverage under the Social Security System (SSS), Employees Compensation Commission (ECC), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) and Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-Ibig; and (5) Board, lodging and medical attendance (Section 1, Rule IV, Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R. A. No. 10361).

In addition, domestic workers are guaranteed the following: (1) Right to privacy; (2) Right to form, join or assist labor organizations; (3) Right to be provided a copy of the employment contract; (4) Right to terminate the employment; (5) Right to exercise their own religious beliefs and cultural practices; (6) Right to access to outside communication; (7) Right to access to education and training; and (8) Standard of treatment (Section 1, Rule IV, IRR of R. A. No. 10361).

It is worth emphasizing that the grant of the aforementioned benefits applies not only to those domestic workers who are “stay-in” or living in the same house as their employers, but also to those who are in a “live-out” arrangement. This includes general househelp, yaya, cook, gardener, laundry person, or any person who regularly performs domestic work in one household on occupational basis. However, service providers, family drivers, children under foster family arrangement, as well as any other person who performs work occasionally or sporadically and not on an occupational basis are not entitled to the said benefits (Section 2, Rule I, IRR of R. A. No. 10361).

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that 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.

Source:  Manila Times Column of Atty Persida Acosta

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