Category Archives: Law Books and Guides

About the Kasambahay Law

“Kasambahay” or household employee refers to persons who render services at home and are compensated for their services. They are your:

  • yaya
  • cook
  • gardener
  • houseboy
  • laundry person or labandera
  • general househelp

or any other person who regularly performs domestic work in your home. “Family drivers” and other persons who perform work occasionally and not on a regular basis at home are NOT considered “kasambahay” for purposes of the Kasambahay Law.

Employment contract: This law seeks to standardize employment terms of employment by requiring the employer to issue an employment contract to the Kasambahay and to provide the office of the punong barangay a copy of the contract– employers are required to make 3 copies.  The terms and conditions must follow the form of the Employment Contract that the Department of Labor prescribed. You can find the standard format at the DOLE site or click HERE for a free copy.

Payment of certain benefits: In addition to the kasambahay’s monthly salary, the employer is also required to pay the kasambahay’s contribution in SSS, Pag-ibig fund and PhilHealth (if the kasambahay’s monthly salary does not exceed Php 5,000.) The kasambahay is also entitled to 13th month pay and service incentive leave of 5 days.

Other features of the kasambahay law include:

The law (RA 10361) and its implementing rules contain other important provisions that every household employer must know in order to avoid legal labor problems.    If you’re interested in knowing more about the Kasambahay Law and what your rights and obligations are as an employer, you may want to check out the latest book “Batas Kasambahay” written by lawyer, author and Philippine labor law speaker Atty. Elvin Villanueva.  Available at National Book Store outlets and Fully Booked Stores.Batas Kasambahay_Villanueva Final


New Book and Ebook on Employee Transfer and Demotion (Philippines)

Now available! A Guide book on How to Demote Employees Legally in the Philippines. This book is now available at your favorite bookstores and online at as an ebook, perfect for your IPAD, tablet, Kindle and other handheld ebook reader. Contact for electronic and hard copies.

Who are considered managerial employees

Night shift differential pay is additional pay given to all employees with certain exceptions such as managerial employees and officers and members of managerial staff.

For purposes of determining exceptions to the night shift differential pay, the following are considered managerial employees, they meet the following conditions:

  1. Their primary duty is to manage the establishment in which they are employed or of a department or subdivision thereof.
  2. They customarily and regularly direct the work of two or more employees therein.
  3. They have the authority to hire or fire other employees of lower rank; or their suggestions and recommendations as to hiring, firing, and promotion, or any other change of status of other employees are given particular weight.

The following are considered officers or members of a managerial staff, if they perform the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. Primarily perform work directly related to management policies of their employer
  2. Customarily and regularly exercise discretion and independent judgment
  3. regularly and directly assist a proprietor or managerial employee in the management of the establishment or subdivision thereof in which he or she is employed; or  execute, under general supervision, work along specialized or technical   lines requiring special training, experience, or knowledge; OR  execute, under general supervision, special assignments and tasks, and
  4. Do not devote more than 20% of their hours worked in a workweek to activities which are not directly and closely related to the performance of the work described in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3.

Guide on Wage Order and Minimum Wage (Philippines)

Wages or salaries are the amounts workers or employees receive as compensation from employers for the work they regularly perform.  While business owners and workers are allowed to agree on specific amounts as salaries, these must not be lower than the minimum wage set by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs).

What are wage orders?

Minimum wages vary depending on the industry and location (region) of the business.  Regional Wage Orders specify:

–        the daily minimum wage rates and

–        exemptions from compliance

Wage increases occur when Wage Orders are issued.  These affect all private sector workers and employees receiving the daily minimum wage rates or those receiving up to a certain daily wage ceiling.

But not everyone may be entitled to the minimum wage.

There are exceptions such as househelpers and family drivers as well as companies that are granted limited exemptions.

What happens when a company or business pays its employees or workers salaries or wages below the minimum amount set by law?

Wage orders should not be ignored as stiff fines and the penalty of imprisonment  may be imposed upon an employer who refuses or fails to pay the prescribed increases or adjustments in the wage rates.

But what about Wage/salary distortion?

Companies often follow salary pay scales or pay grades according to differentiate work roles, positions and levels. Occasionally, mandated wage increases elevate salaries of lower positions so that the salary of a Grade Level One position may become equal to the salary of the next higher rank.  In this case, what should the employer do?  Assuming the company has decided to address wage distortion, how should he go about it?

This Guide includes various formulae in resolving wage distortion and demonstrates each with an example. It also presents a solution for companies that are unionized.

Exemptions from wage orders

Some employers may be exempt from compliance with minimum wage orders. But in certain instances, a prior application for exemption must first be obtained through application and approval.  If the application is disapproved, at what point should the company pay its employees the minimum wage? From the date of the application or from the date of disapproval?

These and other related issues are discussed in the Guide on Wage Orders and Minimum Wage. The eBook version now includes:

–        the latest Wage Order No. NCR-16 granting P22.00 COLA

–        updated list of regional wage rates as of July 1, 2011

–        Labor Advisory dated July 07, 2011 on the treatment of COLA in regular holiday pay

Ebook version (2011 revised edition) on Wage Orders and Minimum Wage guide is now available at ManilaBookSales.Com at Php 597.00.

Guide to Wage Order and Minimum Wage Law in the Philippines

Computation of Termination Pay

A requirement for valid dismissal of employment is the payment of the correct value of termination pay. The Labor Code prescribes minimum standards for the computation of termination pay.

The minimum amount of a terminated or dismissed employee’s termination pay depends on the reason or ground for his dismissal, either a half month’s pay or one month’s pay for every year of service, but in no case will an employee get the equivalent of less than one month’s pay.

Cases where employee is entitled to a half month’s pay for every year of service:

  1. Retrenchment to prevent losses, i.e. reduction of personnel affected by management to prevent losses
  2. Closure or cessation of operation of an establishment not due to serious losses or financial reverses; and
  3. When the employee is suffering from a disease not curable within a period of six (6) months and his continued employment is prejudicial to his health or to the health of his co-employees.

Situations when an employee is entitled to one month’s pay for every year of service:

  1. Installation of labor-saving device, such as replacement of employees by machineries or computerization;
  2. Redundancy, as when the position of the employee has been found to be surplusage or unnecessary in the operation of the enterprise;
  3. Impossible reinstatement of the employee to his former position or to a substantially equivalent position for reasons not attributable to the fault of the employer, as when the reinstatement ordered by a competent authority cannot be implemented due to closure or cessation of operations of the establishment or employer, or when the position to which he is to be reinstated no longer exists and there is not substantially equivalent position in the establishment to which he can be assigned.

Read more about the proper computation of termination pay and other legal requirements for dismissing employees from Guide to Valid Dismissal of Employees by Atty. Elvin Villanueva.

What is Night Shift Differential Pay

Night shift differential pay is an additional amount that an employer must pay an employee who works between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The Labor Code provides that every employee is entitled to a night shift differential or night shift pay of not less than ten percent (10%) of his regular wage for each hour of work performed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.  If overtime work or work in excess of eight (8) hours falls within the night shift period, premiums for overtime work should first be integrated into the regular hourly rate of the employee before computing night shift pay. 

Who are not covered by the night differential provisions

The provisions on night shift differential apply to all employees except:

  • government employees
  • employees of retail and service establishments regularly employing not more than 5 workers
  • domestic helpers and persons in the personal service of another
  • managerial employees
  • field personnel and those whose time and performance are unsupervised by the employer

Learn how to compute night shift pay or night shift differential from Compensation and Benefits Guide by Atty. Elvin Villanueva.

What Every Overseas Filipino Worker Must Know


Overseas Filipino workers continue to toil abroad hoping to improve the lives of their families back home, exposing themselves as well to the common problems relating to their employment. 

A Guide recently published and released in leading bookstores caught my eye because it addresses many of the issues that any overseas Filipino worker may find difficult to deal wth, much less understand.

The Book is in Tagalog and entitled, “Gabay sa Karapatan ng OFW”.  The author is Atty. Elvin Villanueva, an HR specialist who has a clear grasp of Philippine labor laws.   When asked to describe what his book is about, Atty. Villanueva or “Elvin” readily sent me his book’s synopsis which I am re-posting here for the benefit of readers who are working abroad or who have relatives working in other countries.

Elvin Villanueva’s summary:

This work focuses on the fundamental information that every OFW  should know.

With this guide, OFWs can get a clearer understanding of basic issues such as:

  • placement fee,
  • repatriation expenses,
  • labor offices abroad and
  • illegal recruitment.

Early chapters deal with the organizational structures of POEA, OWWA and other government agencies so you’ll know  know how to use these offices when enforcing your rights. 

Labor laws

Knowing the officers involved in addressing OFW’s concerns is the foundation of understanding them. Labor legislations involving overseas workers are also discussed such as the recent Migrant Workers’ Act which highlights the amount to be paid to an illegally dismissed employee.


Learn how to file cases against employers or agencies. This book teaches you the step-by-step process in enforcing claims starting with filing of complaint, mandatory conferences, filing of position paper, etc.

Solidary liability of foreign employer

Another interesting discussion is on the solidary liability of foreign employer and the local agency. In case of illegal dismissal of an OFW, who shall be liable for backwages and damages? Likewise, is the OFW a regular employee? These are interesting questions that are clearly answered in this book.

Other topics include:

  •  large-scale illegal recruitment,
  • illegal recruitment by syndicates,
  • bilateral labor agreements,
  • mandatory remittance system,
  • VISA, passport and documentation
  • OFW claims for disability and
  • death claims.