Employers urged to ensure new salary rate, basic needs of ‘kasambahays’

THE Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Eastern Visayas has reminded the employers to follow the new minimum wage for their domestic workers or “kasambahays” and provide them the basic necessities following the Domestic Workers Act.

After publication in a newspaper of general circulation on December 17, 2019, the new minimum wage rate for kasambahay is effective starting January 1, 2020.

The wage order pegs a P4,500 monthly wage for those working in chartered cities and first class municipalities and P4,000 for other municipalities, according to the RTWPB-Eastern Visayas, an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) in the region.

“At the start of the year, RTWPB-VIII wasted no time and signed the implementing rules for Wage Order number RBVIII-DW-02,” said Marie Ronette Salve Barreda of the RTWPB-Eastern Visayas.

After two meetings and thorough deliberation, Barreda said the board signed the implementing rules last January 13, 2020 and the same was forwarded to the Office of the Secretary of Labor for approval.

Aside from the payment of the new salary rate, the lawyer reminded the employers of the Section 8, Rule 2 which reiterates on providing basic necessities for the “kasambahays” as defined pursuant to Domestic Workers Act.

These include at least three adequate meals a day, taking into consideration the “kasambahays’” religious beliefs and cultural practices; appropriate rest and medical assistance in the form of first-aid medicines in case of illness and injuries sustained during service without loss of benefits; and humane sleeping conditions that respects the person’s privacy for the live-in arrangement and space for rest and access to sanitary facilities for the live-out arrangement.

Meanwhile, the Board also decided to retain the definition of a domestic worker based on the Domestic Workers Act.

The law defines a domestic worker as any person engaged in domestic work within an employment relationship, whether on a live-in or live-out arrangement, such as, but not limited to, general household, “yaya”, cook, gardener, or laundry person, but shall exclude service providers, family drivers, children who are under foster family arrangements, or any person who performs domestic work only occasionally or sporadically, according to the Board.

“Based on that definition, the implementing rules provide that the Wage Order shall apply to all domestic workers, whether on a live-in or live-out arrangements, such as but not limited to a general househelp, yaya, cook, gardener, laundry person or any person who regularly performs domestic work in one household on an occupational basis,” the Board said.

However, not covered are service providers, family drivers, children under foster family arrangements and any other person who performs work occasionally or sporadically and not on occupational basis.

“On the non-inclusion of family drivers, the Board was clarified that NWPC Resolution No. 01 Series of 2017 provides that the minimum wage of family drivers is covered by the minimum wage prescribed for private establishments,” the Board said in a statement.

“In the said resolution, the National Wages and Productivity Commission explained that the Domestic Workers Act otherwise known as the Kasambahay Law repealed the Labor Code’s Chapter of Employment of Househelpers and expressly excludes family drivers from the said law,” it added. (SunStar Philippines)


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