DOLE: Employers must pay workers regular holiday wage before year-end
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) told employers on Wednesday that they have until the end of 2020 to pay their workers their wages for the 12 regular holidays for the year.
In an interview with PTV4, Labor Undersecretary Benjo Santos Benavidez said this mandate is only for those employers who postponed giving their employees the holiday wages during the year.
DOLE allowed employers to defer giving their workers regular holiday pays since offices and factories closed momentarily during the first months of the lockdown during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Binigyan natin sila hanggang katapusan ng taon na ‘to, December 31, para bayaran na ang ating mga manggagawa ng kanilang regular holiday pay. Ito lamang po dun sa mga kumpanyang nagpaliban ng pagbabayad kasi meron naman tayong mga kumpanya nung lockdown na nakapag-operate pa rin at ibig sabihin nun ay nakapagbayad pa rin po sila ng regular holiday pay,” said Benavidez.
(We gave the employers until the end of the year, December 31, to pay the workers their regular holiday pay. This is only for those companies that postponed giving their holiday payments because we have companies who continued to operate during the lockdown and that means they were able to give their employees their due regular holiday pay.)
In the event that employers fail to give their employees their regular holiday pay, the DOLE will have to step in, through its regional offices, and give out sanctions.
Benavidez said that the first sanction would just be an order but if employers fail to do so then the agency will have no choice but seize a company’s assets and freeze its bank accounts with the proceeds eventually being handed to the workers.
“Ang sanction dito ay utusan lang na bayaran ng mga employer and kung maging final and executory ang aming mga desisyon pwede po naming ilitin ang mga ari-arian ng mga kumpanya, pwedeng i-garnish ang mga bank accounts o credits ng kumpanya nang sa ganun ang proceeds ay maibibigay sa mga manggagawa,” said Benavidez.
(The sanction is just to order these companies to pay their employees and once our orders become final and executory then we are allowed to confiscate their properties and freeze their bank accounts or credits so that we can give the proceeds to their workers.) [ac]
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