Working Hours & Coverage in the Philippines Overview

The below working hours apply to employees in all establishments and undertakings whether for profit or not, but not to government employees, managerial employees, field personnel, members of the family of the employer who are dependent on him for support, domestic helpers, persons in the personal service of another, and workers who are paid by results as determined by the Secretary of Labor in appropriate regulations. As used herein, “managerial employees” refer to those whose primary duty consists of the management of the establishment in which they are employed or of a department or subdivision thereof, and to other officers or members of the managerial staff. “Field personnel” shall refer to non-agricultural employees who regularly perform their duties away from the principal place of business or branch office of the employer and whose actual hours of work in the field cannot be determined with reasonable certainty.


Hours of Work in the Philippines

Normal Working Hours

The normal hours of work of any employee shall not exceed eight hours a day. Hours worked shall include all time during which an employee is required to be on duty or to be at a prescribed workplace and all time during which an employee is suffered or permitted to work. Rest periods of short duration during working hours shall be counted as hours worked.

Meal periods

It is the duty of every employer to give his employees not less than 60 minutes time-off for their regular meals.  During day shifts this is usually at 12:00pm.

Night shift differential

Every employee shall be paid a night shift differential of not less than 10% of his regular wage for each hour of work performed between 10:00pm and 6:00am.

Overtime work

Work may be performed beyond eight hours a day provided that the employee is paid for the overtime work, an additional compensation equivalent to his regular wage plus at least 25% thereof. Work performed beyond eight hours on a holiday or rest day shall be paid an additional compensation equivalent to the rate of the first eight hours on a holiday or rest day plus at least 30% thereof.

Undertime not offset by overtime

Undertime work on any particular day shall not be offset by overtime work on any other day. Permission given to the employee to go on leave on some other day of the week shall not exempt the employer from paying the additional compensation required.

Emergency overtime work

Any employee may be required by the employer to perform overtime work in any of the following cases:

  1. When the country is at war or when any other national or local emergency has been declared by the National Assembly or the Chief Executive;
  2. When it is necessary to prevent loss of life or property or in case of imminent danger to public safety due to an actual or impending emergency in the locality caused by serious accidents, fire, flood, typhoon, earthquake, epidemic, or other disaster or calamity;
  3. When there is urgent work to be performed on machines, installations, or equipment, in order to avoid serious loss or damage to the employer or some other cause of similar nature;
  4. When the work is necessary to prevent loss or damage to perishable goods; and
  5. Where the completion or continuation of the work started before the eighth hour is necessary to prevent serious obstruction or prejudice to the business or operations of the employer.

There is no allowance in the Labor Code for what the BPO industry calls “MANDATORY OVERTIME”.

Computation of additional compensation

For purposes of computing overtime and other additional remuneration as required by this Chapter, the “regular wage” of an employee shall include the cash wage only, without deduction on account of facilities provided by the employer.

Weekly Rest Periods

Right to weekly rest day

  1. It shall be the duty of every employer, whether operating for profit or not, to provide each of his employees a rest period of not less than 24 consecutive hours after every six consecutive normal work days.
  2. The employer shall determine and schedule the weekly rest day of his employees subject to collective bargaining agreement and to such rules and regulations as the Secretary of Labor and Employment may provide. However, the employer shall respect the preference of employees as to their weekly rest day when such preference is based on religious grounds.

When employer may require work on a rest day

The employer may require his employees to work on any day:

  1. In case of actual or impending emergencies caused by serious accident, fire, flood, typhoon, earthquake, epidemic or other disaster or calamity to prevent loss of life and property, or imminent danger to public safety;
  2. In cases of urgent work to be performed on the machinery, equipment, or installation, to avoid serious loss which the employer would otherwise suffer;
  3. In the event of abnormal pressure of work due to special circumstances, where the employer cannot ordinarily be expected to resort to other measures;
  4. To prevent loss or damage to perishable goods;
  5. Where the nature of the work requires continuous operations and the stoppage of work may result in irreparable injury or loss to the employer; and
  6. Under other circumstances analogous or similar to the foregoing as determined by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

Compensation for rest day, Sunday, or holiday work

  1. Where an employee is made or permitted to work on his scheduled rest day, he shall be paid an additional compensation of at least 30% of his regular wage. An employee shall be entitled to such additional compensation for work performed on Sunday only when it is his established rest day.
  2. When the nature of the work of the employee is such that he has no regular workdays and no regular rest days can be scheduled, he shall be paid an additional compensation of at least 30% of his regular wage for work performed on Sundays and holidays.
  3. Work performed on any special holiday shall be paid an additional compensation of at least 30% of the regular wage of the employee. Where such holiday work falls on the employee’s scheduled rest day, he shall be entitled to an additional compensation of at least 50% of his regular wage.
  4. Where the collective bargaining agreement or other applicable employment contract stipulates the payment of a higher premium pay than that prescribed under this Article, the employer shall pay such higher rate.

Holidays, Service Incentive Leaves, and Service Charges

Right to holiday pay

  1. Every worker shall be paid his regular daily wage during regular holidays, except in retail and service establishments regularly employing less than 10 workers;
  2. The employer may require an employee to work on any holiday but such employee shall be paid a compensation equivalent to twice his regular rate; and
  3. As used in this Article, “holiday” includes: New Year’s Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the ninth of April, the first of May, the twelfth of June, the fourth of July, the thirtieth of November, the twenty-fifth and thirtieth of December, and the day designated by law for holding a general election.

Right to service incentive leave

  1. Every employee who has rendered at least one year of service shall be entitled to a yearly service incentive leave of five days with pay.
  2. This provision shall not apply to those who are already enjoying the benefit herein provided, those enjoying vacation leave with pay of at least five days and those employed in establishments regularly employing less than ten employees or in establishments exempted from granting this benefit by the Secretary of Labor and Employment in the Philippines after considering the viability or financial condition of such establishment.
  3. The grant of benefit in excess of that provided herein shall not be made a subject of arbitration or any court or administrative action.

Service charges

All service charges collected by hotels, restaurants, and similar establishments shall be distributed at the rate of 85% for all covered employees and 15% for management. The share of the employees shall be equally distributed among them. In case the service charge is abolished, the share of the covered employees shall be considered integrated in their wages.

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