phillippines labor law

Philippines Labor Laws

Table of Contents

Philippines Labor Law


Chapter 1


Article 82. Who This Applies To:

These rules apply to all employees in any company, whether it makes profit or not. But it doesn’t apply to government workers, managers, employees who work away from the office, family members dependent on the business owner, house helpers, personal service workers, and workers who get paid based on their results.

Managers are people whose main job is to manage the place they work or a part of it. Employees who work away from the office are workers who don’t work at the main office or branch and we can’t easily tell their working hours.

Article 83. Work Hours:

The regular work hours for any worker shouldn’t be more than eight hours a day.

For health workers in big cities and big hospitals, they should work eight hours a day, five days a week, not counting meal times. But if they have to work six days a week or forty-eight hours, they should get paid extra for the sixth day.

Article 84. What Counts as Work Time:

Work time includes any time when an employee has to be at work or a specific location, and any time they’re allowed to work.

Short breaks during work count as work time.

Article 85. Meal Times:

Every employer should give their employees at least 60 minutes for their regular meals.

Article 86. Night Shift Pay:

Every worker should get at least 10% extra pay for each hour they work between 10 PM and 6 AM.

Article 87. Overtime Pay:

Employees can work more than eight hours a day as long as they get paid extra for it. Overtime on a holiday or rest day should be paid even more.

Article 88. Undertime and Overtime:

If you work less on one day, you can’t make it up by working more on another day. Even if the employer lets the employee take a day off, they still have to pay the extra overtime pay.

Article 89. Emergency Overtime:

An employee may be required to work overtime during emergencies like war, natural disasters, imminent danger to public safety, urgent repairs needed to prevent major loss or damage, to avoid wasting perishable goods, or to finish important work that’s already started. They should be paid extra for this overtime.

Article 90. How Extra Pay is Calculated:

To calculate overtime and other extra pay, only the cash wage should be considered, without reducing for facilities provided by the employer.


Chapter II: Philippines Labor Law for Weekly Breaks

Article 91. Everyone Needs a Break:

Every boss, whether they’re making money or not, has to give their employees at least a 24-hour break after every six days of regular work.

The boss will decide when the weekly break is, unless a group agreement says otherwise, or unless there are specific rules from the Labor and Employment Secretary. But, if an employee wants their break day based on religious reasons, the boss has to respect that.

Article 92. When Can the Boss Make You Work on Your Break Day?

The boss can make an employee work on their break day if there’s an emergency like a natural disaster, an urgent repair that needs to be done to avoid serious loss, an abnormal amount of work due to special circumstances, if goods could go bad, if stopping the work could result in major loss or damage, or under similar situations as decided by the Labor and Employment Secretary.

Article 93. Getting Paid for Working on a Break, Sunday, or Holiday:

If an employee has to work on their scheduled break day, they should get paid an extra 30% of their regular pay. If the employee’s job doesn’t have regular workdays or break days, they should get an extra 30% pay for working on Sundays and holidays.

Working on any special holiday should be paid an extra 30% of the regular pay. If this special holiday work is on the employee’s scheduled break day, they should get an extra 50% of their regular pay.

If there’s an agreement or contract that says the employee should get paid more than this, then the boss should pay that higher amount.



Article 94. Getting Paid on Holidays:

Every worker should get their regular daily pay on regular holidays, except in retail and service businesses that usually have less than ten workers.

The boss can make an employee work on any holiday, but the employee should get paid double their regular rate.

For this Article, a “holiday” includes: New Year’s Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, April 9, May 1, June 12, July 4, November 30, December 25 and 30, and Election Day.


Article. 95. Reward Leaves:

Every employee who has worked at least a year should get a yearly reward leave of five days with pay.

This doesn’t apply to those who are already getting this benefit, those who get at least five days of paid vacation leave, and those who work in businesses that usually have less than ten employees or in businesses that are allowed not to give this benefit by the Labor and Employment Secretary.

The boss can’t give more of this benefit than what’s already given here.

Article. 96. Service Charges:

All service charges collected by hotels, restaurants and similar places should be distributed at 85% for all covered employees and 15% for management. The employees’ share should be equally distributed among them. If the service charge is removed, the employees’ share should be considered as part of their wages.


Philippines Labor Law for Paying Workers


Article 97. Definitions.

This section of the law uses these terms as follows:

“Person” refers to an individual, partnership, association, corporation, business trust, legal representatives, or any organized group of people.

“Employer” refers to any person who’s acting on behalf of an employer in relation to an employee. This includes the government and its branches, subdivisions, and all government-owned or controlled corporations and institutions, as well as private non-profit institutions, or organizations.

“Employee” refers to any individual who is employed by an employer.

“Agriculture” refers to farming and all its branches. It includes cultivation and tillage of soil, dairying, the production, cultivation, growing and harvesting of any agricultural and horticultural commodities, the raising of livestock or poultry, and any practices performed by a farmer on a farm related to farming operations. It doesn’t include manufacturing or processing of sugar, coconuts, abaca, tobacco, pineapples or other farm products.

“Employ” means to hire someone to work.

“Wage” refers to the money paid to an employee for their work. This can be calculated in different ways, like hourly, by task, or on commission. It also includes the value of things like housing, food, or other facilities the employer provides the employee. The value should be fair and not include any profit to the employer or to any person connected with the employer.



Article 98. Application of this Title.

This section doesn’t apply to farm tenants, domestic service, and people working at home doing needle work or in any cottage industry that’s registered in accordance with the law.


Article 99. Regional minimum wages.

The least amount of money agricultural and non-agricultural workers can be paid in each region of the country is set by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards. (This section was changed by Section 3, Republic Act No. 6727, on June 9, 1989).

Article 100. Prohibition against taking away or reducing benefits.

Nothing in this section should be interpreted as taking away or reducing any supplements or other employee benefits that were available at the time this code was passed.

Article 101. Paying by results.

The Secretary of Labor and Employment will regulate the payment of wages based on results, like piecework, and other non-time work. The goal is to ensure fair and reasonable wage rates, preferably determined through time and motion studies or in consultation with representatives of workers’ and employers’ organizations.



Article 102. Forms of payment.

Employers must pay employees with legal tender, not promissory notes, vouchers, coupons, tokens, tickets, chits, or any other object. Employees can be paid with checks or money orders if that’s customary or necessary because of special circumstances, as determined by regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, or as stipulated in a collective bargaining agreement.

Article 103. Time of payment.

Wages should be paid at least once every two weeks or twice a month. Payments can’t be more than sixteen days apart. If the employer can’t pay on time because of circumstances beyond their control, they must pay the wages as soon as those circumstances have ended. Employers can’t pay less frequently than once a month.

If an employee is hired to do a task that can’t be completed in two weeks, payment should follow these rules, unless there’s a collective bargaining agreement or arbitration award:

Payments should be made at intervals not exceeding sixteen days, proportional to the amount of work completed;

Final settlement should be made upon completion of the work.

Article 104. Place of payment.

Wages should be paid at or near the place of work, unless regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment state otherwise.

Article 105. Direct payment of wages.

Wages should be paid directly to the workers who earned them, except in these situations:

If force majeure makes payment impossible, or under other special circumstances determined by the Secretary of Labor and Employment. In these cases, the worker may be paid through another person with the worker’s written consent; or

If the worker has died. In this case, the employer can pay the worker’s wages to the worker’s heirs without the need for intestate proceedings. All heirs must sign an affidavit stating their relationship to the deceased and the fact that they are the only heirs. If any of the heirs are minors, the affidavit must be signed on their behalf by their natural guardian or next-of-kin. The employer pays the wages to the Secretary of Labor and Employment or his representative, who divides the money among the heirs. The employer isn’t liable for any more money once the wages have been paid.

Article 106. Contractor or subcontractor.

As per the Philippines Labor Law when an employer hires another person to do work, the contractor’s and subcontractor’s employees must be paid according to this code.

If a contractor or subcontractor doesn’t pay the wages of their employees as required by this Code, the employer who hired them is also responsible for paying the workers. This liability is the same as if the employer had directly hired the workers.

The Secretary of Labor and Employment can regulate or prohibit the contracting-out of labor to protect workers’ rights. He can distinguish between labor-only contracting and job contracting, and determine who is considered the employer to prevent any violation or circumvention of any provision of this Code.

“Labor-only” contracting is when the person who supplies workers to an employer doesn’t have substantial capital or investment, like tools, equipment, machinery, work premises, and so on. And the workers that person supplies are doing work that’s directly related to the main business of the employer. In these cases, the person or intermediary is considered just an agent of the employer. The employer is responsible to the workers as if they were directly employed by him.

Article 107. Indirect employer.

The rules of the immediately preceding article also apply to any person, partnership, association or corporation which contracts with an independent contractor to do any work, task, job or project, even if they’re not the employer.

Article 108. Posting of bond.

An employer or indirect employer can require a contractor or subcontractor to provide a bond equal to the cost of labor. This bond is a guarantee that the workers will be paid if the contractor or subcontractor fails to pay them.

Article 109. Joint responsibility.

Regardless of what any other laws say, every employer or indirect employer is jointly responsible with his contractor or subcontractor for any violation of this code. For the purpose of figuring out how much they owe under this Chapter, they are considered as direct employers.

Article 110. Priority of workers in case of bankruptcy.

As per the Philippines Labor Law if an employer’s business goes bankrupt or liquidates, the workers have first claim on any unpaid wages and other monetary claims. As per the Philippines Labor Law they must be paid in full before the government and other creditors are paid. (This section was changed by Section 1, Republic Act No. 6715, on March 21, 1989)


Article 111. Attorney’s fees.

As per the Philippines Labor Law if wages are unlawfully withheld, the guilty party may be charged attorney’s fees equal to ten percent of the recovered wages. It’s illegal for anyone to ask for or take any part of the wages paid to any worker because of a lawsuit.




Article 112. Interference with wages.

As per the Philippines Labor Law no employer can interfere with his employees’ freedom to spend their wages however they wish. He can’t do this by:

Making employees buy merchandise, commodities or other property from the employer or from any other person;

Or making them use a store or service of any kind.

Article 113. Wage deduction.

An employer can’t deduct any amount from an employee’s wages or require the employee to make any other payment, unless:

The deduction is allowed by law, like deductions for income tax;

Or the deduction is for insurance premiums agreed upon by the worker and employer, or their union, or for the employee’s share in a welfare fund.

Article 114. Deposits for loss or damage.

No employer can require his employee to make deposits to cover losses caused by ordinary risks of the business or to pay for the cost of company uniforms.

Article 115. Limitations.

No deduction from the deposits of an employee can be made without a fair hearing and only if the employee is found responsible for the loss or damage.

Article 116. Withholding of wages.

It’s illegal to withhold any part of a worker’s wages without their consent, except as allowed by law.

Article 117. Deduction to ensure employment.

It’s illegal to require a worker to pay any amount, or to require the worker to buy any goods, as a condition of being hired or keeping their job.

Article 118. Retaliation against employees.

It’s illegal to discharge or threaten to discharge, coerce, or in any other way discriminate against any employee who has filed any complaint or started any proceeding related to wages. It’s also illegal to retaliate against any employee who has testified or is about to testify in such proceedings.

Article 119. False reporting.

As per the Philippines Labor Law it’s illegal to knowingly make any false statement, report, or record with the intent to defraud any employee, the government, or any agency of the government, in relation to this law.



Art. 120. Commission.

It’s part of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and helps coordinate their plans and programs.

Art. 121. The Commission’s job is to:

  • Advise the President and Congress on issues related to wages, income, and productivity;
  • Develop policies and guidelines on these topics at the company, industry, and national level;
  • Establish rules for setting minimum wages and productivity measures at regional, provincial, or industry levels;
  • Check the wage levels set by regional wage boards to see if they match the guidelines and the national development plans;
  • Conduct studies and gather data related to its tasks and regularly share this information;
  • Review the regional wage boards’ plans and programs to see if they align with national development plans;
  • Supervise the regional wage boards technically and administratively;
  • Occasionally organize conferences with representatives from government, workers, and employers to discuss wage and productivity matters;
  • Perform any other tasks necessary to implement this Act.

As per the Philippines Labor Law the Commission will have a team composed of different members, including a representative from the workers’ and employers’ sectors. They’ll be assisted by a Secretariat.

Art. 122 Regional Boards

We’re also creating Regional Wages and Productivity Boards (Regional Boards). They’ll work in their respective regions to develop plans and set minimum wage rates according to guidelines from the Commission. They’ll also conduct studies, coordinate with other boards, process applications for exemptions from wage rates, and perform other tasks necessary for their role. The Regional Boards will work closely with regional offices of the DOLE.

Art. 123. Wage Order

If needed, a Regional Board will investigate and study facts to decide whether to issue a Wage Order, which is a rule about wages. Once issued, it takes effect 15 days after it’s published in a newspaper. As per the Philippines Labor Law anyone unhappy with the Wage Order can appeal it to the Commission.

Art. 124. Minimum Wages

The Regional Board’s goal is to set regional minimum wages that provide enough for the health and wellbeing of workers, but that are also feasible economically. They’ll consider factors like living costs, needs of workers and their families, returns on investments, effects on employment and family income, and fair distribution of income and wealth. They’ll also be responsible for dealing with any wage distortions, which happen when wage increases mess up the wage structure within a company.

Art. 125 Negotiate for higher wages

Even with a wage order, workers can still negotiate for higher wages with their employers.

Art. 126. Commission

As per the Philippines Labor Law no court or tribunal can issue an order to stop any proceedings before the Commission or the Regional Boards.

Art. 127. Statutory minimum wage

Wage orders can’t set wages lower than the statutory minimum wage rates set by Congress.




Article 128. Powers of inspection and enforcement.

The head of the Department of Labor and Employment, or someone they assign, can inspect employers’ workplaces and records whenever work is going on. They can also ask employees questions and look into things to figure out if there are any labor law violations or other issues that need fixing under this law and other related laws.

Even if other parts of this law say differently, if an employer-employee relationship is ongoing, the head of the Department of Labor and Employment or their delegate can make orders to enforce labor standards based on findings from labor inspections. They can also order for their decisions to be enforced by appropriate authorities unless the employer disputes the findings with supporting documents which were not considered during inspection.

Orders made under this section can be appealed to the head of the Department of Labor and Employment. If the order involves a payment by the employer, they can only appeal if they provide a cash or surety bond (basically an insurance policy) for the same amount as the payment order.

The head of the Department can also order work to stop or operations to be suspended in parts of a workplace if not following the law could seriously harm workers’ health and safety. Within 24 hours, a hearing will be held to decide whether the order should continue or not. If the employer is at fault for the violation, they have to pay the employees for the time they weren’t able to work.

Nobody can prevent the orders made under this section from being carried out, and no lower court can interfere with these cases.

Any government employee who violates or abuses their authority under this section can be fired after a proper administrative investigation.

The head of the Department can make rules requiring employers to keep records that could help enforce this law.

Article 129. Getting back wages and other benefits.

If someone makes a complaint, the Regional Director of the Department of Labor and Employment or one of the authorized hearing officers can decide on matters involving unpaid wages and other money-related claims and benefits, as long as the claims do not involve getting their job back or exceed 5000 pesos per employee. They should make a decision within 30 days of the complaint being filed. Any money recovered on behalf of an employee should be kept in a special account and paid to the employee by order of the head of the Department or the Regional Director. If the employee can’t be found after 3 years, the money goes into a special fund to help workers.

Decisions made under the Philippines Labor Law can be appealed to the National Labor Relations Commission within 5 days of receiving the decision. The Commission should resolve the appeal within 10 days of receiving the last document required or allowed under its rules.

The head of the Department or their representative can oversee the payment of unpaid wages and other monetary claims and benefits owed to an employee under this law.




Art. 130: Timing

Women aren’t allowed to work between 10 pm and 6 am for industrial jobs, between midnight and 6 am for non-industrial jobs (except farming), or at night for farming jobs unless they get a full 9 hours of rest.

Art. 131: Exceptions

Exceptions to the above include emergencies, urgent work to avoid serious loss, certain managerial or technical roles, roles requiring women’s skills, family-run businesses, and other cases as decided by the Department of Labor.

Art. 132: Safety

Employers must ensure the safety and health of female employees. This can include providing proper seating, separate toilets and dressing rooms, a nursery, and setting age standards for retirement in certain jobs.

Art. 133: Pregnant employees

Pregnant employees who’ve worked at least 6 months in the past year can get 2 weeks maternity leave before delivery and 4 weeks after, with full pay. This leave can be extended (unpaid) if the employee is medically unfit to work. However, employers only pay for the first 4 childbirths.

Art. 134: family planning services

Companies required to have a clinic or infirmary should offer free family planning services. The Department of Labor will also work on incentives to promote family planning.

Art. 135: Discrimination

Discriminating against women (like paying them less or denying promotions) because of their sex is illegal. Anyone guilty of these can face penalties.

Art. 136: Marriage

Employers can’t require women not to get married as a condition of their job, or assume they’ll quit if they do get married. Women can’t be fired or treated badly just because they’re married.

Art. 137: After Pregnancy

As per the Philippines Labor Law it’s illegal for employers to deny women the benefits outlined in this chapter, fire them due to pregnancy, or refuse them re-entry to work for fear of another pregnancy.

Art. 138:

Women who work, paid or unpaid, in nightclubs, bars, and similar places for a significant amount of time under the employer’s control are considered employees, with all the rights that come with that.




Art. 139. Age Limit.

No one under the age of 15 can be hired for a job, unless they’re working for their own parents or guardians and their job doesn’t affect their schooling.

If you’re between 15 and 18, you can be hired for a certain number of hours and times of the day that will be decided by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

But no matter what, you can’t work in dangerous jobs if you’re under 18.

Art. 140. No Discrimination Due to Age.

Employers can’t treat you differently just because of how old you are.


Art. 141. House Helpers

Who’s Covered. This part applies to anyone who works in someone else’s home for money. This includes housekeepers, personal assistants, and family drivers.

Art. 142. Job Agreement.

Your job agreement can’t be longer than 2 years, but it can be renewed if both parties agree.

Art. 143. Minimum Wage.

Househelpers will be paid at least:

  • 800 pesos/month in cities like Manila, Quezon, Pasay, and other urban areas.
  • 650 pesos/month in other cities and first-class municipalities.
  • 550 pesos/month in other municipalities.

Employers have to look at the employment contracts every 3 years to potentially improve the terms and conditions. If a househelper is earning at least 1,000 pesos/month, they’ll be included in the Social Security System and can receive its benefits.

Art. 144. Basic Cash Wage.

These minimum wages are basic cash payments. On top of this, you should get free lodging, food, and medical care.

Art. 145. Restrictions on Assignment.

Househelpers can’t be made to work in businesses or farms for less pay than what is provided for such workers.

Art. 146. Education Opportunity.

If a househelper is under 18, the employer has to give them a chance to get at least an elementary education. The cost of the education is part of the househelper’s pay unless agreed otherwise.

Art. 147. Treatment of Househelpers.

Employers have to treat househelpers well and can’t physically harm them.

Art. 148. Basic Amenities.

Employers have to give househelpers free and suitable living quarters, enough food, and medical care.

Art. 149. Compensation for Unfair Firing.

If you have a fixed-term contract, neither you nor your employer can end it early unless there’s a good reason. If you’re fired without a good reason, you should be paid what you’ve already earned plus 15 days’ pay. If you leave without a good reason, you might lose up to 15 days of unpaid salary.

Art. 150. Notice for Ending the Job.

If there’s no set end date to your job, either you or your employer can give a 5-day notice to end the job.

Art. 151. Job Certificate.

When you stop working for an employer, they should give you a written statement about what kind of job you did, how long you did it, and how well you did it.

Art. 152. Job Record.

As per the Philippines Labor Law employers can keep records about the actual terms and conditions of a househelper’s job, which the househelper can sign or put a thumbprint on if asked.


Art. 153. Rules for Homeworkers.

The government will regulate jobs for homeworkers and field workers to make sure they are treated fairly.

Art. 154. Labor Secretary Regulations.

The rules or orders from the Labor Secretary will assure minimum job terms and conditions for homeworkers or field workers.

Art. 155. What Counts as a Homework Job.

An employer of homeworkers is anyone who either gives someone goods, articles or materials to be processed or fabricated at home and then takes them back or gives directions on what to do with them, or who sells someone goods, articles or materials to be processed or fabricated at home and then buys them back.


Disclaimer: The information provided here is intended to serve as a general guide and is not legal advice. We are not legal experts. For specific issues or detailed legal advice, please consult a qualified legal professional.



Basil Abbas

Basil is the Founder and CTO at ClockIt. With over 10 years of experience in the products space, there is no challenge that is too big in front of him be it sales, marketing, coding, etc. A people person and loves working in a startup for perfection.