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A Primer on the Newly-Enacted "Batas Kasambahay"

Understand the provisions of the new law and download a sample contract in Filipino!

kasambahayIn the Philippines, practically every home has a househelper. Just as some are treated like family members by their employers, there are also those who, unfortunately, suffer abuse. This is the reason behind the enactment of the “Batas Kasambahay” – to make sure that such abuse and ill-treatment of househelpers are prevented.

The law covers only domestic workers or a “kasambahay”, which refers to any person engaged in domestic work within an employment relationship such as, but not limited to, the following: general househelp, nursemaid or “yaya”, driver, cook, gardener, carpenter or laundry person. The law does not apply to any person who performs domestic work only occasionally or sporadically and not on an occupational basis.

Some of the significant provisions of the law are the following:

ART. II. Rights and Privileges

1. Standard of Treatment
The employer or any member of the household shall not subject a domestic worker to any kind of abuse. Any form of physical violence or harassment, or any act tending to degrade the dignity of a domestic worker, is also prohibited.

2. Board, Lodging and Medical Attendance
The employer shall provide for the basic necessities of the domestic worker, including at least three (3) adequate meals a day, and humane sleeping arrangements that ensure safety.

The employer shall also provide appropriate rest and assistance to the domestic worker in case of illnesses and injuries sustained during service.

The employer is prohibited from withdrawing or keeping these basic necessities from the domestic helper as a form of punishment or disciplinary action.

3. Guarantee of Privacy
The domestic employer has a right to privacy, and the employer is prohibited from meddling with the domestic worker’s communication and personal effects.

This guarantee equally recognizes that the domestic worker is obliged to render satisfactory service at all times.

4. Access to Outside Communication
During the domestic worker’s free time, the employer shall grant the domestic worker access to outside communication, such as the use of the telephone, the post office, or the internet. In case of emergency, access to communication shall be granted even during work time.

Should the domestic worker incur any costs when making use of the employer’s telephone or other communication facilities (such as when long distance calls are made), the costs shall be borne by the domestic worker, unless such charges are waived by the employer.

5. Right to Education and Training
The employer shall give the domestic worker the opportunity to finish basic education, and may allow access to alternative learning systems. If possible, the employer shall also give the domestic worker a chance to finish higher education or technical and vocational training. The employer shall adjust the work schedule of the domestic worker to allow such access to education or training, without hampering the services required by the employer.

Another important provision that this law introduced is the “Prohibition Against Privileged Information”, that is, all communication and information pertaining to the employer or members of the household shall be treated as privileged and confidential, and shall not be publicly disclosed by the domestic worker during and after employment. This means that any information obtained by the domestic worker about the people in the household shall be inadmissible in evidence, except when the case involves the employer or any member of the household in a crime against persons, property, personal liberty and security, and chastity.

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  • Guest Mar 04 2014 @ 05:58pm
    Ask lng po aq if hnd cnusunod ng employer ung kasambahay law like the sss, philhealth and pag inig contribution for the kasambahay, ano po b ang pwdng magagawa ng mga kasambahay? San po lmi maaring magcomplaint?? Thanks po..
  • Guest Jun 28 2013 @ 04:35pm
    nais ko pong mgpasalamat kay Senator Jinggoy Estrada.Saludo po aq sa gnawa mung batas d2 po npptunayan mong hndi lng myyamang tao or may kaya ang iniisip mo kgaya ng iba,paano po kng isa akng kasambahay na walang lakas ng loob n ipgban ang karapatan ko at hindi kayang humarap upang kunin or iaply anng krampatang batas pra s akin?tulad halimbawa ng walang pakialam n mga employer at hindi nla bnbgyang pansin ang batas n eto?npanood k kc s tv n ung mga employer dpat ang tumulong,paanu kng enignore lng ng employer?
  • Guest Jun 06 2013 @ 01:03pm
    Very helpful, especially the sample contract. Thank you very much for this!
  • Guest Jun 06 2013 @ 12:24am
    kung ayaw mismo ng kasambahay na mayroon kayong contrata ibibigay mo pa din ba ung mga sss, philhealth at pagibig?
  • Guest Jun 06 2013 @ 12:18am
    kung maospital ang iyong kasambahay, employer pa ba ang magbabayad ng hospital bills samantalang nagbabayad na tayo ng phil health nila? kasi tayong mga employee hindi naman sinasagot ng employer ung hospitalization natin kung tayo ang magkakasakit. yun lang namang binibigay ng phil health ang nakukuha natin all the rest tayo din naman ang gumagastos
  • Guest Jun 06 2013 @ 12:15am
    kung wala kayong contract, ok lang ba na hindi sila magbigyan ng sss, pagibig, philhealth
  • Guest Jun 06 2013 @ 12:13am
    required ba ang employer na bigyan ng oras ang kanilang mga kasambahay para magaral? employer din ba ang gagastos sa pagaaral niya?
  • Guest Jun 06 2013 @ 12:06am
    what if kung napagkasunduan namin sa contract na magstay sya ng one year, tapos bigla na lang siyang umalis tapos ung reason niya is wala sa mga allowable reason stated sa kasambahay bill? Paano kung bigla nalang umalis yung kasama sa bahay ng walang paalam? walang notice? ano ang penalty? kung hindi tutuparin ng helper yung stated duration ng service nya sa contract pero nagbigay siya 20 days notice, wala ba siyang penalty? meaning madali lang sila makaalis kung gugustuhin nila? ano ang protection ng employer sa ganitong situasyon?
  • maiaurmatam Mar 17 2013 @ 01:46pm
    Have they finalized the implementing rules & regulations for the Batas Kasambahay? I hope you can post a link to that; also maybe a guide to applying for Philhealth, SSS and other benefits for the kasambahay would also help. Thanks.
  • Guest Mar 15 2013 @ 03:26am
    Thanks for thoroughly discussing this law, i did understand it now.
  • MaritheMom Mar 08 2013 @ 12:08pm
    Hi, hope you can post the link to the sample contract.

    I believe this is really good, it's a win-win solution too for the employers. Thank you.
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