MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED/CORRECTED) - An estimated 2.9 million domestic workers nationwide or "kasambahays" will benefit from the Kasambahay Bill or Rep. Act 10361 ("An Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers") that was signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III last January 18, 2013.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said a copy of the law will be uploaded on the Official Gazette first.
The law will take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation.
The Department of Labor and Employment will be consulting with other govt agencies including the Justice and Social Welfare departments, SSS, Philhealth and Pag ibig in framing the law's implementing rules and regulations (IRR). The IRR will be released by May 2013.
The bill defines labor rights of domestic household workers and provides regular employment benefits for them. It benefits yayas, cooks, gardeners, laundrywomen, and many others.
According to the law, the minimum wage for domestic workers is set at P2,500 a month in the National Capital Region; P2,000 a month in chartered cities and first class municipalities; and P1,500 a month for those employed in other municipalities.
Employers are also required to pay wages of domestic workers in cash, and to provide pay slips to their household help.
They are mandated as well to enter into a contract with their domestic workers.
A year after the law takes effect, the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards are mandated to review and adjust the wages (only upward adjustment is allowed) for domestic workers as needed.
Aside from standardized pay, domestic workers will be entitled to Social Security System, PhilHealth, and Pag-Ibig Fund, with premium payments shouldered by employers if the helpers receive a monthly salary below P5,000.