The Kasambahay Law (or “Batas Kasambahay” and “Domestic Workers Act”, filed as Republic Act No. 10361 five years ago) is a law protecting kasambahays (or househelpers) and domestic workers in the Philippines. Many of our kababayans are maids, cooks, and helpers but few of them know what exactly their rights are. On this post, we attempt to enlighten you on the scope, implementing rules, and regulations of the Kasambahay Law.
Quick aside: we made sure to include every detail you’ll be needing in one page, but should you need information, feel free to download this Kasambahay Law PDF or refer to the Republic Act 10361 at the Official Gazette.
Kasambahay Law: Who are covered?
Republic Act No. 10361 states that the law covers all workers “engaged in domestic work, whether on a live-in or live-out arrangement, such as, but not limited to, the following:”
- general househelp;
- laundry person;
- working children or domestic workers 15 years and above but below 18 years of age; or
- any person who regularly performs domestic work in one household on an occupational basis (live-out arrangement).
Service providers, family drivers, children under foster family arrangement, and any other person who performs work occasionally or sporadically and not on an occupational and regular basis are not protected by the Kasambahay Law.
The Employer’s Responsibilities
If you’re an employer, the law states that prior to the kasambahay’s employment, you are responsible for their transportation (for example, their transportation from their hometown to your house). Beyond this—costs on acquiring necessary requirements, for instance—are not yours to shoulder. Transportation fees during the employment are reimbursable.
The Kasambahay Law states that workers are eligible for:
- 13th month pay;
- Pag-ibig and
- SSS benefits
And as such, as their employer, you must grant them these and you yourself must be registered in these three institutions as an “employer”. In addition to this paperwork, employers are also required to draft a contract that states in a language/dialect that the kasambahay can understand, the following:
- Duties and responsibilities of the kasambahay;
- Period of employment;
- Authorized deductions;
- Hours of work and proportionate additional payment;
- Rest days and allowable leaves;
- Board, lodging and medical attention;
- Agreements on deployment expenses, if any;
- Loan agreement;
- Termination of employment; and
- Any other lawful condition agreed upon by both parties.
A couple more paperwork mandated by law: 1.) registration of the kasambahay in the Registry of Domestic Workers in the barangay where the employer resides, and 2.) payslips which you will issue every pay day detailing a complete breakdown of their salaries.
The Kasambahay Law states that workers are eligible for 13th month pay, Philhealth, Pag-ibig, and SSS benefits.
It is also worth noting that during the employment, you’re expected not to commit any of the following unlawful acts.
- Employment of children below 15 years of age;
- Withholding of the kasambahay’s wages;
- Interference in the disposal of the kasambahay’s wages;
- Requiring kasambahay to make deposits for loss or damage;
- Placing the kasambahay under debt bondage; and
- Charging another household for temporarily performed tasks.
Note that, as the kasambahays’ official employer, you will be held responsible and will be sanctioned accordingly.
The Kasambahay’s Responsibilities
As a worker, the Kasambahay Law notes that you are expected to render services in the fullest of your capacity. You must submit the prerequisite requirements the employer ask for, which includes:
- a medical certificate,
- barangay and police clearance,
- NBI clearance, and birth certificate,
- baptismal record,
- passport, or
- voter’s identification card.
As a worker, the Kasambahay Law notes that you are expected to render services in the fullest of your capacity.
Although your employer cannot withhold your salary, they can deduct up to 20% off your monthly salary when you have made significant damages to any of their asset/property and is clearly accountable and responsible for said damages.
Your Rights & Benefits
The Kasambahay Law is designed to protect the rights of both kasambahays and their employers. We’ve briefly rounded up some of the important rights and benefits as listed below:
- monthly minimum wage (P2,500 for Metro Manila, P2,000 for cities and 1st class municipalities and P1,500 for other municipalities)
- daily rest period of 8 total hours
- weekly rest period of 24 uninterrupted hours
- five days annual service incentive leave with pay
- 13th month pay
- SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig benefits
In addition, kasambahays must also be offered food—taking in consideration their religious beliefs and other cultural practices—humane sleeping areas and conditions, appropriate rest periods, and medical assistance.
To protect employers, meanwhile, the Kasambahay Law states that in the written agreement, “other conditions” are allowed. This includes other benefits and requirements that the employers may wish to request. The terms, of course, must be agreeable to both the employer and the kasambahay.
Did we miss something? Looking for an info we didn’t cover? Check out the Kasambahay Law PDF (Q&A) here for a full run-down of everything you might want to know about the law.
If you have questions, feel free to drop them in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer them.