DOLE releases implementing rules for house helpers

By Mayen Jaymalin, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 10 2013 09:43 AM | Updated as of May 10 2013 05:43 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The two million house helpers (kasambahay) nationwide can now get a pay increase and join labor unions.

Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued yesterday the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Kasambahay Law.

Under the IRR, the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) shall work with the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) in crafting a skills-based pay system.

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) shall issue wage advisories containing a range of wage hikes based on the competency standards set by TESDA.

Baldoz said TESDA shall adjust existing training regulations for the issuance of a national certificate on household service and customize them for local-hired maids within six months after the promulgation of the IRR.

The New Kasambay Law already set the minimum wage of house helpers employed in Metro Manila at P2,500 a month; P2,000 in cities and first class municipalities; and P1,500 in other municipalities.

The monthly pay of kasambahay shall be in cash as compensation in promissory notes and vouchers are not allowed.

Kasambahay who have rendered at least a month of service are entitled to 13th month pay to be paid not later than Dec. 24 every year or upon separation from employment.

Baldoz said the IRR prohibits employers from withholding the wages of kasambahay or deducting any amount from their wages for loss or damage other than those mandated by law without consent.

Hiring of kasambahay under 15 years of age is also prohibited under the new IRR.

The IRR also allow the kasambahay the right to join a labor union for purposes of collective negotiation and to attend meetings during free time.

Baldoz said the IRR applies to all parties to an employment contract for service of kasambahay like yaya, cook, gardener, laundry person, family driver, children under foster family arrangement and any person performing domestic work.

The DOLE also came out with a standard employment contract for the employer and the kasambahay to forge before the start of employment.