As the last of ’ember months’ end this year, the Department of Labor emphasize it is a must for employers to pay workers’ 13th month pay no later than December 24th.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III emphasized this on Monday because companies either do not comply with the law or DOLE wants to assure concerned employees the agency is always on the lookout. In the first place it has got enough power to monitor belligerent employers.
It is common knowledge already the law required employers to pay rank-and-file employees the 13th month pay, regardless of the nature of employment, and irrespective of the methods by which wages are paid. That is, as long as employees worked for at least one month within the year.
The government is so effective at issuing regulations and passing laws, a strong credit to the lawmakers. On the same light, it always falls short in the enforcement and monitoring of enforcement of the regulation.
For the 13th month pay is a labor standard provision of the law which should not be compromised as to its payment. And employers are duty-bound to report their compliance of the worker benefit.
The Labor Code also identified every covered employer bound to make a compliance report no later than January 15 of the following year.
The 13th month pay is defined to mean one-twelfth (1/12) of the basic salary of an employee within a calendar year.
Included in the computation of the basic salary are all earnings paid the employer for services rendered.
Some monetary benefits may not be included as part of the remunerations like the 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.
Employers failing to pay the 13th month benefit are liable to money claim cases that aggrieved employees may file with any DOLE regional office.