Baguio City – In any company or business, whether big or small, the greatest asset is the people or the worker. The company or business gains when they perform well, and the company or business suffers if they don’t.

For employers, they are obliged to take care of their people by giving them the proper employee benefits as mandated by the government, by following labor laws and ensuring workers understand their benefits. At the end of the day, happy employees are the most significant factor when you think about raising work productivity and creating happy, satisfied customers but not all business owners or managers get this simple fact.

When you see a manager scream at their employees, nit-pick over every document, and give performance reviews that bring up errors from six months earlier, you may think that they believe a miserable employee is the best employee.

Think about how you feel when you must meet with a person who is unhappy and doesn’t like their job. This attitude makes the meeting tedious and unpleasant. If the salesperson or account manager is genuinely cheerful and pleasant, you may find that you are looking forward to the meeting. When a customer wants to work with your business, you will find that they are more likely to purchase your products. If you were a customer or client and treated poorly, you’re not likely to go back. If employees are unhappy with their job or their workplace, they are more likely to treat your customers poorly. The result certainly won’t be a line of people waiting for you to serve them.

Here are the important things a business owner or employer and also the worker need to know about employee benefits, as mandated by the government. When you are employed, you are entitled to various benefits that can be summed up into three categories namely employee minimum wage and additional pays due to varying factors like holidays or overtime, leave benefits which are paid absence from work, and mandatory government contributions.

In the Cordilleras, the basic minimum wage for Baguio City and La Trinidad, the minimum wage rate for all Industries/ Sectors employing 11 or more is ?320.00 while for all industries/sectors employing 10 or less is ?310.00.  For Tabuk City, Bangued, Bontoc, Lagawe, Banaue, Buguias, Bauko, Sagada and Tublay, the basic minimum wage is ?315.00 (for 11 or more employees) and ?305.00 (employing 10 or less) while for the other areas in the Cordillera Administrative Region is ?300.00.

Overtime pay refers to the additional compensation for work performed beyond eight (8) hours a day. The COLA is not included in the computation of overtime pay. For work in excess of 8 hours performed on ordinary working day is plus 25 % of the hourly rate. For work in excess of 8 hours performed on a scheduled rest day or a special day is plus 30 % of the hourly rate on said days. For work in excess of 8 hours performed on a special day which falls on a scheduled rest day id plus 30 % of the hourly rate on said days while for work done on excess of 8 hours performed on a regular holiday is plus 30 % of the hourly rate on said days. For work done in excess of 8 hours performed on a regular holiday which falls on a scheduled rest day is plus 30 % of the hourly rate of the said days.

Generally, the premium pay for work performed on rest days, special days or regular holidays is included as part of the regular rate of the employee on the computation of the overtime pay for overtime work rendered on said days, especially if the employer pays only the minimum overtime rates prescribed by law. The employee and employer, however, may stipulate in the collective agreement the payment for overtime work at rates higher than those provided by law.

Night Shift Differential also known as night shift pay applies to employees who work between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM. An additional 10% premium is applied for every hour at work. For Night shift on an ordinary day = (per hour rate × 10% × 8 hours); Night shift on a rest day = (per hour rate × 130% × 10% × 8 hours); Night shift on a regular holiday = (per hour rate × 200% × 10% × 8 hours); Night Shift on Special Holiday = (per hour rate × 130% × 10% × 8 hours); Night Shift on a double holiday = (per hour rate × 330% × 10% × 8 hours); Night Shift on a regular holiday plus rest day = (per hour rate × 260% × 10% × 8 hours); Night Shift on special holiday plus rest day = (per hour rate × 150% × 10% × 8 hours) and  Night Shift on double holiday plus rest day = (per hour rate × 390% × 10% × 8 hours).

The 13 month pay is often mistaken as the Christmas Bonus, but technically, it’s a monetary bonus mandated by law. The Christmas bonus is only a voluntary gesture from the employers. According to the law, the 13 month pay is given either in 2 installments (May and December) or in full before December 24. You can receive this pay if you are any private employee with fixed or guaranteed salary who have worked for at least one month. Resigned or terminated employees who left their employers before the release of the 13 month bonuses can also receive this. Take note that employees who quit the job without going through the separation process and workers who are paid purely on commission are not entitled for 13 month pay.

For more information on other government mandated benefits visit www.bwc.dole.gov.ph

END/ Patrick T Rillorta