MINIMUM legal requirements are now imposed on employers of domestic workers under the Batas Kasambahay or the Domestic Workers Act.
Johnson Cañete, regional director of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) in Northern Mindanao Region, said with the new approved law, household workers will now be receiving a minimum wage set by the wage board plus the added employment benefits such as PhilHealth and membership to the Social Security System (SSS).
Johnson said under the law, the employer is responsible for the safety of their workers and shall provide a decent place for resting, at least three meals a day and hours of rest.
“They shall also be entitled to only eight hours of work otherwise overtime pay will be required if they have extended their hours of service,” Cañete said.
The law, also known as Republic Act 10361 or An Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers, was signed by President Benigno Aquino III on January 18.
A minimum wage of P2,500 per month was set in the National Capital Region, P2,000 a month for those employed in chartered cities and first class municipalities, and P1,500 per month for those employed in other municipalities.
Cañete, however, emphasized that domestic workers assigned to work in a commercial or industrial enterprise shall be paid the minimum wage applicable for that sector.
In Cagayan de Oro, the minimum wage for domestic workers is P2,000.
The added benefits such as SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig Fund premiums must be shouldered by the employers provided the workers are not receiving P5,000 monthly salary.
Cañete said domestic workers are also entitled to leave benefits and 13th month pay.
Employers are also mandated to execute a contract with their domestic workers prior to the commencement of the service stating the duties and responsibilities of the domestic worker; period of employment; compensation and authorized deductions; hours of work, rest days and allowable leaves; and other conditions agreed upon by both parties.
Other features of the law include prohibition of debt bondage, termination of service, employment certification, settlement of disputes, and registration of domestic workers in the Registry of Domestic Workers in the barangay where the employer’s residence is located.