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  • Leaves, Benefits, And More: What Kasambahays Are Entitled To According To The Law

    A guide on what both kasambahays and employers are entitled to under the law.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Leaves, Benefits, And More: What Kasambahays Are Entitled To According To The Law
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Yayas and kasambahays are valuable to the household — they take care of the children, prepare our daily meals, keep the household clean, and more. But while trustworthy helpers are treated like family members, there are also some who unfortunately suffer abuse from their employers.

    What helpers are entitled to under the Kasambahay Law

    Whether you’re a domestic worker or an employer, it helps to be familiar with Republic Act No. 10361 or the Domestic Workers Act, also known as the Batas Kasambahay or Kasambahay Law. Here is an easy-to-understand guide on what both parties are entitled to under the law, according to the infographic created by the Department of Labor and Employment.

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    Who is covered by the Kasambahay Law?

    The law covers domestic workers or “kasambahay,” which include any person engaged in domestic work within an employment relationship such as gardeners, yaya or nannies, cooks, all-around help, and laundrywomen.

    The law does not cover family drivers, service providers, children in foster family arrangements, and any worker who performs domestic work only occasionally or sporadically and not on an occupational basis (sideline).

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    According to the law, individuals who are 15 years old and above are permitted to be employed as kasambahays. Those below 18 years old would need the consent of their parents and guardians before employment and their work hours would differ from kasambahays of legal age. They are also not permitted to do work that will have a negative effect on their health, safety, and morality.

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    Conditions of work

    Employers are expected to provide a contract in a language that is understood both by the employer and kasambahay. This should include details like:

    • Duties and responsibilities of the kasambahay
    • Period of employment and compensation
    • Work hours and provisions for additional pay
    • Rest days and allowable leaves
    • Food and lodging
    • Termination of employment
    • Other conditions agreed upon by both parties and permitted by the law

    The kasambahay has the right to receive a copy of the contract. A copy should also be given to the municipality where the kasambahay will be employed so she can be registered there.

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    In case the kasambahay was hired through a private employment agency or third party, the recruitment or finder’s fees will not be charged to the domestic worker by the agency.

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    Payment terms

    Kasambahays must be given a monthly wage with pay slips. It should not go under the minimum wage assigned to each region.

    For Metro Manila kasambahays, a Php1,500 wage hike was recently approved by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-National Capital Region. Once the order takes effect, the new monthly minimum wage rate will be at Php5,000.

    Under the Kasambahay Law, employers are required to pay domestic workers in cash. No deductions shall be made unless there is a written agreement between the helper and employer.

    Kasambahay rights and privileges

    Kasambahays are entitled to weekly leaves or a “day off.” The scheduled rest day should be agreed upon by the employer and domestic worker in writing.

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    Apart from the day off, kasambahays are entitled to a daily rest period of eight hours per day.

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    Kasambahays are entitled to a 13th month pay, which is equivalent to one month’s worth of wages or depending on the length of service provided.

    Employers are mandated to have their kasambahays registered as members of SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG. Premium payments or contributions shall be shouldered by the employer. However, if the domestic worker is receiving a wage of Php5,000 and above per month, the kasambahay must pay the proportionate share in the premium payments or contributions, as provided by law.

    If a kasambahay has rendered at least one year of service, they will be entitled to an annual service inventive leave of five days with pay. Any unused portion of said annual leave cannot be carried over to the succeeding years and unused leaves are not convertible to cash.

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    Other rights and privileges for kasambahays include:

    • Freedom to choose where to spend their monthly wages
    • Right to proper and just treatment by the employer
    • Basic necessities like food and humane sleeping arrangements that ensure safety
    • Appropriate rest and assistance in case of illnesses and injuries
    • Right to privacy and communication
    • Access to outside communication (use of telephone, the post office or the Internet) during free time and in case of emergency
    • Right to be given an employment certification
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    Acts prohibited by the law

    Employers are prohibited to engage the kasambahay in debt bondage or rendering service as security or payment for a debt, where the length and nature of service is not clearly defined, or when the value of the service is not reasonably applied in the payment of the debt.

    Monthly wages should not be withheld and the employer is not allowed to meddle where the kasambahay chooses to spend their salary.

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    In the case of lost or damaged items, the kasambahays should not be forced to give a deposit or pay for the loss or damage of tools, materials, furniture, and equipment in the household.

    Termination of services

    Neither the kasambahay nor the employer may terminate the contract before the expiration of its term, except for the grounds provided by the law, which includes:

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    For both parties

    • Committing crime against the kasambahay or employer
    • Failure to comply with the contract and other provisions under the Kasambahay Law
    • Health conditions that would endanger the health of the employer, kasambahay, or community
    • Other reasons similar to the above

    For kasambahays

    • Physical abuse and inhumane treatment by the employer and other members of the household
    • Verbal or emotional abuse by the employer and other members of the household

    For employers

    • Misconduct or willful disobedience by the domestic worker in connection with their work
    • Gross or habitual neglect or inefficiency by the domestic worker when performing duties
    • Fraud or willful breach of trust of the employer

    Curious as to what the contract between kasambahay and employer should look like? Click here for a sample contract drafted by celebrity mom Isabelle Daza.

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