Below are answers provided by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to frequently asked questions from various stakeholders who are still in quandary regarding the law which is seen to benefit at least two million household helpers.
What is the Domestic Workers Act/Batas Kasambahay (Republic Act 10361)?
Republic Act 10361 is an Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers, otherwise known as ‘Domestic Workers Act’, or ‘Batas Kasambahay.’
It was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III on Jan. 18, 2013. It took effect last June 4, 2013.
The law is a landmark piece of labor and social legislation that recognizes for the first time domestic workers as similar to those in the formal sector.
It strengthens respect, protection, and promotion of the rights and welfare of domestic workers or kasambahay.
Who are the kasambahay covered by the law?
All kasambahay engaged in domestic work within an employment relationship, such as, but not limited to, the following: a. general househelp; b. nursemaid or yaya; c. cook; d. gardener; e. laundry person; f. working children or domestic workers 15 years and above but below 18 years of age; or g. any person who regularly performs domestic work in one household on an occupational basis (live-out arrangement).
Who are not covered by the law?
The following are not covered by the Batas Kasambahay:a. service providers;b. family drivers;c. children under foster family arrangement; andd. any other person who performs work occasionally or sporadically and not on an occupational basis.
Is a contract necessary before entering into an employment for domestic work?
Yes. The employer and the kasambahay shall enter into a contract of employment written in a language or dialect understood by them.
The employment contract must specify the following:a. Duties and responsibilities of the kasambahay;b. Period of employment;c. Compensation;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; andk. Any other lawful condition agreed upon by both parties.
A copy of the contract may be downloaded from the website of the Department of Labor and Employment (www.dole.gov.ph).
The employer may also draft a copy of the contract.
How much is the monthly minimum wage of a kasambahay?
For those employed in:a. National Capital Region - P2,500.00;b. Cities and 1st class municipalities - P2,000.00; (The list of cities and 1st class municipalities are in DOLE's website: www.dole.gov.ph)c. Other municipalities - P1,500.00.
The wage of the kasambahay should be paid in cash, at least once a month.
Who will pay the SSS premium, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG contributions of the kasambahay?
The employer, if the wage of the kasambahay is less than P5,000.00.
If the wage of the kasambahay is P5,000.00 or more, the kasambahay will pay his/her share in the premiums/contributions.
The kasambahay will be covered by SSS, Philhealth and Pag-IBIG after one month from employment.
What are the mandatory benefits of the kasambahay?a. Monthly minimum wage;
b. 5 days annual service incentive leave with pay;
c. 13th month pay;
d. SSS benefit;
e. PhilHealth benefit;
f. Pag-IBIG benefit;
g. Daily rest period of 8 (total) hours; and
h. Weekly rest period of 24 (uninterrupted) hours.