With only over a week to go before Christmas, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday renewed its calls for private sector employers to release the 13th-month pay of workers not later than Christmas Eve.
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III issued the reminder anew after receiving inquiries and complaints on the payment of the mandatory benefit for workers.
“We call on our private sector employers to give the 13th-month pay of their rank and file employees on or before December 24,” he said in a statement.
“They are entitled to this benefit, 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 the calendar year,” the DOLE chief added.
The 13th-month pay is a mandatory benefit provided to employees pursuant to Presidential Decree 851.
It 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.
At the same time, Bello said an employee who has resigned or whose services are terminated at any time before the payment of the 13th-month salary is entitled to this monetary benefit.
The amount is in proportion to the length of time the employee has worked during the year.
Thus, the 13th-month pay is computed from the time the employee has started working during the calendar year up to the time of his or her resignation or termination from service.
Employers are also duty-bound to report their compliance with this general labor standard.
The Labor Code provides that 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. (Ferdinand Patinio/PNA)