BAGUIO CITY – – The Department of Labor and Employment reminded the rights of domestic helpers during an information drive on Republic Act 10361 or the Batas Kasambahay and the celebration of Araw ng Kasambahay last February 6.
DOLE Batas Kasambahay focal person Patrick Rillorta explained that under the law enacted in 2013, domestic helper or kasambahay pertains to general househelp, nursemaid or yaya, cook, gardener or laundry person, or working children 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.
Pertinent provisions include kasambahays must not exceed eight hours of work a day or 40 hours a week. Those below 15 of age must not be given hazardous work and must not have a working time earlier than 6:00AM and later than 10:00PM.
Rillorta also disclosed that in hiring kasambahays, employer must pay the cost of hiring whether they are hired through private employment agencies or any other party and the employer and the kasambahay should sign a contract of employment.
Employers must also pay the deployment expenses but may recover the cost when the worker leaves without any justifiable reason within six months from employment, he added.
Rillorta also explained that the monthly minimum wage for the kasambahay is higher in the Cordillera with P2, 500 in cities and first class municipalities and P2,000 in other municipalities (2nd to 6th class) compared to the P2, 000 and P1, 500 in the National Capital Region, respectively.
The employers also have to sponsor additional benefits including SSS and Philhealth when the wage does not exceed P5, 000. If wage is over P5, 000, the kasambahays have to avail of the benefits themselves.
DOLE is the lead agency for the advocacy of the Batas Kasambahay which primarily promotes their welfare and safety as well as the families they work for./JDP/CCD/Clarina Conde & Erlyn Lomboy/PIA – SLU Interns