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Employee Rights in the Philippines

The right to work is one of the fundamental human rights. The state of legislation in the field of the implementation of this right is not only an indicator of the society’s level of development but also an aspect that directly affects the efficiency of its economy. In this regard, the legal regulation of labor relations is of particular importance, which is the creation of the needed legal conditions for achieving optimal coordination of the interests of the parties to labor relations and the state. The main legislative and regulatory act in employment in the Philippines is The Labor Code of the Philippines. Thus, the Labor Code is the primary tool that protects workers in the Philippines.

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In the Philippines, different types of employment are distinguished depending on the nature and conditions of the activity. According to Philippine Labor Law: Types of Employees (n.d.), a regular employee is a worker who has been engaged to perform actions that are usually necessary or desirable in the employer’s usual business. Another type of employment is project employment, where an employee is hired for a specific project or undertaking, and the duration of employment is determined by the volume of work and/or the course of the project. Furthermore, seasonal employment is a common practice for retail, food, hospitality, and other related industries to increase their workforce to meet demand during peak seasons. In the legislation of the Philippines, permanent seasonal employees who are called to work from time to time are defined. Moreover, fixed-term employment occurs when an employee provides services for a certain period, and the employment contract must be terminated after this period.

Philippine law regulates the work of casual employees hired to perform work or provide services that are secondary to the employer’s business or only for a particular period specified at the time of employment. They are entitled to most of the statutory benefits other than retirement and leave benefits. According to the Department of Labor and Employment (2017), there is probationary employment when an employee, after being hired, undergoes a probationary period, during which the employee determines his suitability for work permanently. Typically, the probationary period does not exceed six months from the employee’s start date. Thus, the Labor Code of the Philippines defines different types of employees, which differ in the nature and conditions of activity.

Philippine law also defines the minimum labor standards that must be provided to an employee. According to the Philippines’ minimum wage law, the minimum wage rate varies from one region of the country to another. Moreover, the Department of Labor and Employment (n.d.) obliges to set “minimum wages applicable to various sectors, namely non-agricultural, agricultural plantation and non-plantation, cottage/handicraft, and retail/services, depending on the number of workers, capitalization or annual gross sales in some sectors” (p.2).

According to the Department of Labor and Employment (2017), no employee should work more than 8 hours a day. At the same time, it deserves a daily 1-hour lunch break. If an employee works overtime, he receives compensation in the amount of 25% of his regular salary. Bureau of Working Conditions (2019) affirms that all employees reserve the right to vacation pay. It will include his regular daily wages. If they are called to work on a public holiday, they should be paid twice the standard rate. Therefore, Philippine law regulates labor standards, including wages, hours worked, compensation, and privileges.

Thus, the legal regulation of employment in the Philippines aims to preserve and promote employment based on ensuring workers’ labor rights and interests, providing them with guarantees, and improving legislation on employment and labor. The primary legislative source in the field of work in the country is the Labor Code of the Philippines. The document establishes various types of employment, including regular, project, seasonal, fixed-term, casual, and probationary employment. Moreover, Philippine legislation defines labor standards that aim to create an enabling environment at work.


Bureau of Working Conditions. (2019). Handbook on workers’ statutory monetary benefits. Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)

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Department of Labor and Employment. (n.d.). Republic Act No. 6727: Wage Rationalization Act. Web.

Department of Labor and Employment. (2017). The Labor Code of the Philippines. DOLE

Philippine Labor Law: Types of Employees. (n.d.). Nicolas & De Vega Law Offices. Web.

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