MANILA, Nov 13 — The Department of Labor and Employment is urging all the country’s private employers to pay workers the 13th month pay, following the Labor Code of the Philippines, saying that the 13th month pay is a general labor standard that it (DOLE) does not compromise as to its payment.
Labor secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said, “the 13th month pay must be paid on or before December 24 of every year. This year, the 24th of December falls on a Wednesday, so employers may pay their workers the 13th month benefit on this day, but I urge them to pay earlier to avoid the rush.”
The employers may pay their employees one-half of their 13th month benefit before the opening of the regular school year—May or June—and the remaining one-half on or before December 24. If not paid after this date, the 13th month pay becomes due and demandable.
On Wednesday, the DOLE issued an advisory explaining that private sector employers are duty-bound under the law to report their compliance of the worker benefit.
“All employers are required to pay their rank-and-file employees the 13th month pay, regardless of the nature of their employment, and irrespective of the methods by which their wages are paid, provided they worked for at least one month during a calendar year,” Baldoz said.
The 13th month pay is defined to mean one-twelfth (1/12) of the basic salary of an employee within a calendar year.
The basic salary includes all remunerations or earnings paid by an employer to an employee for services rendered, but may not include cost-of-living allowances (COLA), profit-sharing payments, cash equivalents of unused vacation and sick leave credits, overtime pay, premium pay, night shift differential pay, holiday pay, and all allowances and monetary benefits which are not considered, or integrated as part of the regular or basic salary of the employee.
To enable workers and employers to appreciate better the computation of the 13th month pay, Baldoz reiterates the simple formula: 13th month pay = Total basic salary earned during the year / 12 months.
Baldoz said employers who fail to pay the 13th month benefit are liable to money claim cases that aggrieved employees can file with any DOLE regional office. Under the Labor Code, every covered employer is required to make a report of compliance with the law to the nearest DOLE regional office not later than January 15 of each year.
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