Baguio City – Yvonne works at one of the many establishments at Baguio City’s Central Business District. Her monthly salary is 7,020 pesos or 270.00 pesos per day for every 26 working days. Her fellow office worker Glen gets 7,410 pesos a month. Compared to what he receives, Yvonne’s salary is not much to provide for her two children’s needs.
Both might not know that the daily minimum wage in Baguio City is actually 300 pesos. Also, Yvonne appears to be getting less than her male colleague. This shouldn’t be the case because she and Glenn had come in at the same time and have the same qualifications.
Even though this should strike her as odd, Yvonne never bothered talking to her boss about it. She’s convinced herself that all male laborers do get more than their female counterparts. Yvonne appears to be digging a deeper hole for herself by not bringing up the matter with her boss. She believes that she has no right to ask about why her pay per month might be as low as it is. Yvonne thinks she has to work extra hours and put in more time before she’s able to get better pay. This is the same case with many other workers not only in Baguio City.
Many people like Yvonne and Glenn have no idea that they have basic rights as laborers. But there’s another aspect to the problem. Even employers themselves may not be aware of their employees’ rights in the workplace.
Yvonne isn’t the only one in this situation. There are thousands of female employees who still suffer from labor code violations. These women may have the same or even better qualifications than the men in their field but still get paid less. Both men and women should know that they deserve equal salaries. Male and female workers are entitled to equal compensation for work of equal value and to equal access to promotion and training opportunities. Discrimination against female employees is unlawful. It is also unlawful for an employer to require a condition of employment that a woman employee shall not get married or to stipulate expressly or tacitly that a woman employee shall be deemed dismissed upon marriage.
One of the best things about the rise of the internet is the accessibility of information. You can visit the website of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for your first source for all things worker rights-related at www.dole.gov.ph.
May I share with you the basic worker’s rights as part of our advocacy and for your convenience and awareness. Here are the basic employee rights. On the issue of Equal Work Opportunities for All. It is provided in the Philippine Constitution that: the State shall protect labor, promote full employment, provide equal work opportunity regardless of gender, race, or creed; and regulate employers-employees relationship. On Security of Tenure. Workers cannot be dismissed without just and authorized causes and only after due process. Just cause refers to any to any wrongdoing committed by a worker; authorize cause refers to economic circumstances that are not the worker’s fault. Due process involve the “twin” requirements of notice and hearing. Every worker shall be assured security of tenure. A worker shall be made regular after six (6) months probation.
For Work Days and Work Hours. Normal working hours of eight (8) hours a day. Meal and rest period. Meal break of less than one hour and short rest periods shall be considered compensable working time. Workers must be paid their wages for all hours worked. If work hours fall between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00a.m., workers are entitled to night differential pay, which is 10% of the basic or regular rate, in addition to their pay for regular hours worked. If they work for over eight (8) hours a day, they are entitled to overtime pay. On weekly rest day. A weekly day-off of 24 consecutive hours should be scheduled by the employer upon consultation with the workers.
On Wage and Wage Related Benefits. Wage is the amount paid to an employee in remuneration for the service rendered. Wage maybe fixed for a given period. There is a corresponding minimum wage for a particular region or sector as maybe provided by law. For the Payment of Wages. Wages shall be paid in cash, legal tender at or near the place of work. Payment maybe made through a bank upon a written petition of majority of the workers in an establishment with twenty-five (25) or more employees. Payment shall be made directly to the workers. Wages shall be given not less than once every two (2) weeks or twice within a month at intervals not exceeding 16 days.
An employer cannot make any deduction from an employee’s wage except for insurance premiums with the consent of the employee, for union dues, or for withholding taxes, SSS premiums and other deductions expressly authorized by law.
For Female Employees. Women are prohibited from engaging in night work unless the work is allowed by the following rules: industrial undertakings from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., commercial/non-industrial undertakings from 12 m.n. to 6 a.m., or agricultural takings at night provided that she has had nine consecutive hours of rest. Welfare facilities, such as separate dressing rooms and lavatories, must be installed at the workplace.
On the Employment of Children. The minimum employment age is 15 years of age. Any worker below 15 years of age should be directly under the sole responsibility of parents or guardians provided that work does not interfere with the child’s schooling or development. Work permit from DOLE. The minimum age of employment is 18 years for hazardous jobs, and 15 years for non-hazardous jobs. There should be Safe Working Conditions. Employers must provide workers with every kind of on-the-job protection against injury, sickness or death through safe and healthful working conditions. Proper illumination and ventilation, fire exits and extinguishers, occupational health personnel and services must be provided at the workplace by the employers./Patrick T Rillorta