Hiring minors as domestic helpers illegal – DOLE
MANILA, Philippines — Nearly 5,000 minors below 15 years old are employed as domestic workers in violation of the Batas Kasambahay of 2013, according to a government survey.
The survey was conducted among the country’s 1,400,132 domestic workers in October 2019 by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Its results, which came out recently, found that 49,000, or about 4 percent of the total respondents, were aged 18 years old and below.
The Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) reminded households that it was unlawful to employ minors below 15 years old as domestic workers since this was considered child labor and exploitation under Republic Act No. 10361, or the Kasambahay Law.
“If employers are proven guilty of employing minors as kasambahay, they can be penalized with a fine ranging from P10,000 to P40,000,” said Karina Trayvilla, director of the Dole’s Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns.
The penalties are on top of civil and criminal charges that can be filed against the employers under RA 9231, or the Act Providing for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor And Affording Stronger Protection for the Working Child.
Social welfare benefits
Seven years since the law was passed, most of the country’s 1.4 million domestic workers still have not enjoyed social welfare fund membership, rest days and other benefits mandated by the Kasambahay Law.
The survey found that 1,162,901 domestic workers or 83 percent of the total number of respondents were not covered by the Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and Pag-Ibig Fund.
Some 79.2 percent (1,109,411) were without SSS coverage, 80.7 percent (1,130,382) were without PhilHealth coverage, and 87.6 percent (1,226,149) without Pag-Ibig coverage.
Most of the registered domestic workers even pay for their own contributions, the survey found.
It said 36 percent of live-in or stay-in domestic workers did not have any rest days while 38 percent were on live-out arrangement work, seven days a week.
Despite the law’s requirement, 1,364,677 or 95 percent of the domestic workers had no written work contract.
Monthly salary rates
Average monthly salary is P4,141, with wages ranging from P2,681 in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to P5,958 in Metro Manila.
Live-in domestic workers received an average of P4,772 a month, ranging from P2,309 in the BARMM to P5,815 in Metro Manila. Those on live-out arrangement were paid P3,892 on the average, ranging from P2,739 in the BARMM to P6,202 in Metro Manila.
Under the law, domestic workers should be paid not less than the legal minimum salary. They are also entitled to a 13th-month pay.
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