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Batas Kasambahay (R.A.

10361)

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Last January 18, 2013, the President of the Philippines just signed into law Republic Act No. 10361,
which is otherwise known as the Batas Kasambahay.

First and foremost the intent of the law is to protect and recognize the needs of our domestic workers in
order to ensure their health and well-being while they are being employed in our households.

For some of us, our helpers have been with us and our families for years. In fact, a lot of us treat them
like members of the family. We trust them to take care of our homes, cars, pets and yes, even tend to
our children's needs whenever we are away. In turn, we share our meals with them and bring them with
us on holidays.

For those of us who have helpers, it is important to understand and know the salient features of this
law:

Who are covered? All domestic workers (not limited to: general househelpers, gardeners, laundry
person, cook) working within the Philippines. (Sec. 3,4)
What are their rights and privileges as well as the terms and conditions of their employment? Of course,
we should not abuse or mistreat our helpers. Apart from this, we are required by law to:
provide three (3) adequate meals a day and humane sleeping quarters, (Sec. 6)
guarantee privacy of communication and personal effects, (Sec. 7)
provide rest and assistance when they are sick or ill, (Sec. 6)
grant access to outside communication during their free time, (Sec. 8)

give them an opportunity to finish basic education and adjust their work schedules to permit this, (Sec.
9)
after they have rendered service for one year, they are entitled to an annual service incentive leave of
five (5) days with pay, (Sec. 29)
give them thirteenth month pay, (Sec. 25)
allow them a daily rest period of 8 hours a day, (Sec. 20)
allow them 24 consecutive hours of rest a week, (Sec. 21)
What kind of service should we expect from them? They are obligated to provide satisfactory service at
all times (Sec 7) and keep private and confidential all information and communication pertaining to us
and the entire household (Sec 10).
When we are hiring a new domestic worker can we require them to submit certain clearances as a precondition to employment? Yes, we may require the prospective domestic worker to procure and
submit to us the following documents: medical certificate, barangay/police clearance, NBI clearance,
duly authenticated birth certificate or any document that would show his/her age. All of which shall be
at our expense. However, if we employ the domestic worker through an agency, these documents are
standard requirements and are likewise to be procured at the expense of the agency. (Sec. 12)
Can we employ a child as a domestic worker? Under the Philippine Family Code, a person below 18
years of age is still considered a child. However, for purposes of the Batas Kasambahay, we can employ a
child who is at least 15 years old. (Sec. 16)
Is there a minimum wage set for a domestic worker? The minimum wage has been set at: Php 2500.00
(NCR), Php2000.00 (chartered cities and first class municipalities) and Php1,500 (employed in other
municipalities). (Sec.24)
Can we pay their wages through other means (for example: rice, clothes, gift cheques) other than cash?
No. (Sec. 25)
If we have agreed upon the terms and conditions of employment, is there a need to put all of these in
writing? Yes, a contract must be executed in the language (or dialect) that both parties (we and the
prospective domestic worker) understand to show what has been agreed upon in relation to the duties
and responsibilities, compensation, authorized deductions, hours of work and proportionate additional
pay, rest days and allowable leaves, board, lodging and medical attention, loan agreements, termination
of employment and other such lawful agreements. (Sec. 11)
What are some of the authorized deductions, if any? If the domestic worker is receiving compensation in
the amount of Php5000.00 and higher, their share in the premium payments/ contributions for SSS,
Philhealth and Pag-Ibig shall be deducted from their salary. (Sec. 30)

Apart from those authorized deductions, can we withhold or deduct other things from their salaries?
Technically, we cannot withhold any of their salaries (Sec. 28) nor can we deduct (Sec. 25) money from
their salaries. An exception is when the deduction has been agreed upon in writing by the domestic
worker. (Sec. 25)
What if the compensation I am giving my domestic worker is less than Php5000.00, can I deduct her/his
share of contributions? No. In this case, we (as employers) must pay and shoulder both the employer's
and employee's share in the contributions to SSS, Philhealth and Pag-Ibig. (Sec. 30)
When do we start remitting to SSS, Philhealth and Pag-Ibig for the contributions of our domestic
worker? We are required to report and remit their corresponding contributions after one (1) month of
service with us. (Sec. 30)
Are we required to issue them a pay slip? Yes, we need to give them a pay slip every pay day showing
how much they received and if there has been any deductions.
Can we terminate the services of our domestic workers at any time and whatever reason? No. The law
only allows us to immediately terminate the services of the domestic worker if he/she commits any of
those acts enumerated under Section 34. If the reason for the termination is not enumerated in Section
34, we are required to pay the domestic worker an additional 15 days worth of wages as indemnity.
Can our domestic workers simply quit working? It is only justified for the causes enumerated in Section
33. Otherwise, any salary due to him/her (not exceeding 15 days worth of wages) shall be forfeited.
Of course some of the provisions of the law cannot be immediately complied with because the
Implementing Rules and Regulations has yet to be issued. For instance, the law requires that we register
our household helpers in a register of domestic workers in our barangay. And yet, the Department of
Interior and Local Government together with the Department of Labor and Employment has still to
formulate a registration system for this purpose.

As for ensuring that they get their SSS, Philhealth and Pag-Ibig benefits, we can now enroll as employers
and we can also require them to enroll themselves as members of SSS, Philhealth and Pag-Ibig.