Dole: Pay 13th month before December 24

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013


THE Department of Labor and Employment said employers are given only up to December 24 to release their employees' 13th month pay.

Baguio–Benguet Field Office Labor and Employment officer Engr. Jose Gamad, Jr. said employers who have not yet released the 13th month pay must do so before December 24 or face complaints.

He explained the computation of 13th month pay is basic pay times actual days the employee worked divided by 12 months. He said the computation does not include the cost-of-living adjustment, absents and leaves of the employee.

The 13th month pay is required by Presidential Decree (PD) 851. The decree otherwise known as the 13th Month Pay law is fundamentally a government implementation of monetary assistance equivalent to the monthly basic salary received by the employee.

The term "13th month pay" denotes the one twelfth of the employee's basic salary within a calendar year. On the other hand, the term "basic salary" refers to the wage or salary the employee receives from the employer for services rendered with the payouts set according to the predetermined schedule agreed by both employer and employees.

For an employee to be entitled for the pay, he must have worked for the employer at least one month during the calendar year, provided the employer is covered and is not stated in Section 3 of the decree.

The 13th month pay is different from the Christmas bonus. The bonus is not mandated by law unlike the 13th month pay. The Christmas bonus is not a required and demandable responsibility, provided that the bonus, as per agreement made by the employer and employee, it is not made part of the compensation or wage benefit of the employee.

In such instances when a Christmas bonus (or any kind of bonus) becomes a long – standing policy, withdrawing the benefit is tantamount to a reduction of employee benefits which is prohibited under the Philippine Labor Code.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 04, 2013.

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