Ruby works at one of the many call centers in Metro Manila. Her monthly salary is 7,500 pesos or 288.46 pesos per day for every 26 working days. Her fellow office worker Daryl gets 8,000 pesos a month. Compared to what he receives, Ruby’s salary is not much to provide for her three children’s needs.
Both might not know that the daily minimum wage in Metro Manila is actually 481 pesos. Also, Ruby appears to be getting less than her male colleague. This shouldn’t be the case because she and Daryl had come in at the same time and have the same qualifications.
Even though this should strike her as odd, Ruby never bothered talking to her boss about it. She’s convinced herself that all male laborers do get more than their female counterparts.
Ruby appears to be digging a deeper hole for herself by not bringing up the matter with her boss. She believes that she has no right to ask about why her pay per month might be as low as it is. Ruby thinks she has to work extra hours and put in more time before she’s able to get better pay. This is the same case with many other workers in the Philippines.
Many people like Ruby and Daryl have no idea that they have basic rights as laborers. But there’s another aspect to the problem. Even employers themselves may not be aware of their employees’ rights in the workplace.
Are there more employees like Ruby?
Ruby isn’t the only one in this situation. About 2.3 million Filipino women still suffered from labor code violations in 2012 alone. These women may have the same or even better qualifications than the men in their field but still get paid less. Both men and women should know that they deserve equal salaries.
There have been many cases of labor code violations, not just wage gaps, between men and women. A recent case reports about Filipino workers who were severely underpaid for their work. These employees had low pay and were even unable to receive any of the basic employee benefits aside.
It’s clear that both Filipino employees and employers have to be more aware of labor rights.
Where can I learn about employee rights in the workplace?
One of the best things about the rise of the internet is the accessibility of information. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is your first source for all things worker rights-related.
For our convenience and awareness, DOLE has compiled a short list of basic employee rights here.
A. Equal Opportunities for All
Your employees have the right to full employment regardless of their gender, age, or religion. The government also can regulate your employer-employee relations.
B. Security of Tenure
This means your employees can’t be dismissed from your job without a reasonable cause. There should also be due process before any sort of dismissal.
C. Work Days and Work Hours
An employee must be paid for all the hours of work they put into their job. Extra payments should also be made if they work a night shift or work overtime.
D. Weekly Rest Day
A weekly rest day entitles your employees to a whole 24 hours of rest after every 6 working days they report to their office or job.
E. Wage and Wage-Related Benefits
The work they render their employer has to be compensated with a just wage. Any kind of work done that is not compensated is a violation of employee rights.
F. Payment of Wages
Employees should receive their wage either in cash, legal tender, or through a bank. The normal time they should get paid is after every 2 weeks or 16 days.
G. Female Employees
Female employees are exempt from working a night shift, save for some special cases. Facilities to help address women’s needs must also be available at the workplace.
H. Child Labor
Hiring a child under the age of 15 without parental consent is actually against the law. Also, minors cannot engage in any jobs that may be considered a hazard or threat to their wellbeing.
I. Safe Working Conditions
The workplace should not cause injury or sickness. Employers have to make sure the venue of work for their employees is a conducive environment.
J. Rights to Self-Organization and Collective Bargaining
This clause protects the employees’ right to join and form unions. It also ensures that the employer – and even the government – cannot interfere.
Are there any other rights I should know about not covered by that list?
Yes, there are. There may be situations your employees find themselves thrown into at work that leave them uncertain about what to do. You’re also not too sure if you’re covered by national law.
Be informed before it even happens by looking through this list of rights.
Getting paid their contracted rate
Employees have the right to question their employer if they receive less than the agreed-upon wage. Of course, they should keep in mind that there will be income tax deductions based on the pay.
This also applies to employee benefits. Employers shouldn’t deny or reduce any of the promised benefits.
Becoming a regular employee
If an employee is new to a company, it’s normal to experience a probationary period. The usual probation period lasts 6 months, though it may vary depending on the company.
After working for a company in the prescribed time, employees do not have to wait for their boss’s go signal. They are already a regular employee if they still work for you after the probationary period.
What do I do now?
Knowledge is power, so the best is to stay informed about all the laws affecting your employer-employee relations. Also, stay on top of current changes in the law and make your employees aware of those changes in case they might be affected by it.
You should always treat your employees equally and fairly. They say “Customer is King” but this is not entirely true. Actually, it is far more important to treat your employees the best way you can as they are the ones that will then treat your customers like kings. Only happy employees make happy customers.