TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, December 13, (PIA) –Employers are legally bound to pay for their workers’ 13th month pay on or before December 24, or it becomes due and demandable, reminds the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
By 13th month, the labor department means one-twelfth (1/12) of the basic salary of an employee within a calendar year.
DOLE defines the basic salary as all remunerations or earnings paid by an employer to an employee for services rendered.
“All employers are required to pay their rank-and-file employees the 13th month pay, 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 a calendar year,” DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said.
13th month pay however 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, according to DOLE.
Baldoz said employers who fail to pay the 13th month benefit are liable to money claim cases that aggrieved employees can file with any DOLE regional office.
And as the due date is fast approaching, DOLE urges all the country’s private sector employers to pay their workers the 13th month benefit, pursuant to the Labor Code of the Philippines and its implementing rules and regulations.
The 13th month pay is a general labor standard that DOLE does not compromise as to its payment.
“Good labor-management relations, increased workers’ and enterprises’ productivity and competitiveness result from workers being paid what is due them,” she added.
“The 13th month pay must be paid on or before December 24 of every year. This year, the 24th of December falls on a Wednesday, so employers may pay their workers the 13th month benefit on this day, but I urge them to pay earlier to avoid the rush,” said Baldoz.
She added, however, that employers may pay their employees one-half of their 13th month benefit before the opening of the regular school year—May or June—and the remaining one-half on or before December 24.
Under the Labor Code, 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.
The Secretary signed and issued a labor advisory to this effect, explaining that private sector employers are duty-bound under the law to report their compliance with this worker benefit. (with rappler)