Search terms: Employment & Labour, Philippines
The Supreme Court has determined the nature of the relationship between a broadcasting network and its radio and television personalities. In the groundbreaking ruling, the court ruled that since a network does not control the means and method by which a personality renders his or her contracted services, the personality is an independent contractor rather than a network employee.
The Supreme Court recently ruled that a production operator who was hired on a continuous basis under two-month and three-month contracts was a regular employee inasmuch as her services were necessary and desirable in the employer's business. The ruling confirms the conventional legal wisdom that fixed-term hiring for core function jobs is inherently risky.
In a recent ruling the Supreme Court held that a cause of action for employment-related monetary claims accrues not from the date the benefits become vested, but from the time the demand is made by the employee and is rejected by the company. The ruling appears to stretch unduly the prescriptive period for such claims.
In response to a request by the Professional Regulation Commission for an opinion on the matter, the Department of Justice has held that pre-school teachers are not required to take licensure examinations before they are allowed to teach. The opinion allows the pre-school education system to continue with minimal regulation.
Acknowledging that it lacks sufficient personnel to conduct sweeping inspections of employment establishments, the Labour Department has prioritized its inspections to workplaces with fewer than 200 workers. For unionized establishments and workplaces with at least 200 workers, the department will instead require the submission of a checklist of compliance with labour regulations.
In determining whether an employee's illness and resulting death were compensable, the Supreme Court recently considered his medical history as evidence that his risk of contracting the illness was increased by his working conditions.
In a recent case a company withheld the final paycheque of a resigning employee as compensation against supposed liabilities arising out of his breach of a post-training commitment. In disallowing the withholding, the Supreme Court noted that the employer and the employee were not mutual creditor and debtor; hence, the set-off was not proper.
A new supplementary rule of procedure expressly allows non-lawyer company officers to appear on behalf of their corporations, provided their appearance as 'counsel' is properly authorized. This extraordinary privilege to practise law is legally questionable and may give employers a false sense of security that they can adequately represent their cases without counsel.
In a recent case the Supreme Court ruled that while an employee's unjustified absences were not sufficient cause for his dismissal, they were nonetheless grounds for suspension. It therefore ordered the reinstatement of the employee, but limited the award to one year's back pay.
The Labour Department has issued a circular clarifying that 'special working holidays' declared by the president of the Philippines are nothing more than ordinary working days. Therefore, no premium pay is required for work rendered on these days.
A company permanently closed its operations, claiming serious business losses. The Supreme Court recognized the company's right to cease operations regardless of whether it was incurring losses, but ruled that the losses were not substantial enough to justify non-payment of severance benefits to the displaced employees.
Two recent opinions by the Bureau of Labour Relations appear to have liberalized the rules on outsourcing. They confirm that even services not directly related or integral to the business of the principal can be outsourced, and that the same work can be performed by a mix of employees and contract workers in the same division or unit at the principal’s premises.
The Supreme Court has held that the wearing of armbands and erection of placards by striking nurses did not provide an employer with just cause for dismissal, notwithstanding that the strike was illegal due to the union's lack of legal status and unlawful acts committed by other strikers.
Following consultations with the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council, the Department of Labour has reinstated the documentary requirements for registration of a local chapter of a labour federation. These requirements ensure that local chapters are legitimate labour organizations complete with the requisite officers, principal office and constitution and bylaws.
The Court of Tax Appeals has denied an employee's claim for a refund of tax withheld on benefits received under a special early retirement programme, because the programme had not been registered with the Internal Revenue Bureau. The ruling could discourage employees from availing of special retirement programmes and thus hinder the implementation of manpower reduction measures.
The Supreme Court has reiterated that a job contractor need not possess its own tools or machinery: it is sufficient that in carrying out its independent business, it has substantial capitalization. In determining the status of a putative independent contractor, several factors may be considered by the labour courts, including registration with the Department of Labour and substantial revenues.
New amendments strengthen the law on child labour, making criminal the "worst forms of child labour", the use of children in pornographic and drug activities, and their employment for hazardous jobs. However, this punitive approach may not be sufficient to combat child labour in all sectors, given that this is often the result of complex socio-economic factors.
The Department of Labour has sought to fast-track the process of collective bargaining in non-unionized establishments by disallowing appeals, including motions for reconsideration, in petitions for certification elections, and by directing the holding of certification elections within 45 days of the order granting the petition.
A recent ruling by a regional office of the Department of Labour holds that a local chapter of a labour federation need no longer submit its organizational documents to the Department of Labour; instead, only the federation's report of the creation of a local chapter need be submitted. The Department of Labour will then issue the local chapter with its union registration.