Termination and rights of your domestic helper

Q: How do I terminate my domestic helper?

A: First, it is recommended that an employee check if the requirements for employing a domestic helper are complied with. Second, note whether the domestic helper is probationary or regular because the allowed grounds for termination differ. Third, prepare to follow the ‘twin notice requirement’.

Q: What are the requirements for employing a domestic helper?

A: The requirements are found in Republic Act 10361. Some requirements are: i. The contract must be in writing, and in three copies; ii. The domestic helper must be paid at least the current minimum wage; iii. After one month of service, the domestic helper must be registered and provided with the following government benefits: Social Security System (SSS) coverage, Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) coverage, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC; otherwise known as Philhealth) coverage, Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF; otherwise known as Pag-Ibig) coverage.

Q: What should the contract contain?

A: It should contain the basic responsibilities of the domestic worker, period of employment, the amount of compensation, authorized deductions, hours of work, rest days and allowable leaves, board, lodging and medical attention, loan agreements, other benefits provided to the helper, the name of employer, place of employment, grounds for termination, and other matters agreed upon.

Q: Who should the three copies of the contract be given to?

A: The employer, the employee and the Punong Barangay.

Q: What are the basic rights of the helper?

A: Some notable rights are: Domestic workers are granted an aggregate daily rest period of eight (8) hours, and at least twenty four (24) consecutive hours of rest every week. The schedule for this must be in the written contract.

This list is provided by the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Republic Act 10361:

(a) Minimum wage; (b) Other mandatory benefits, such as the daily and weekly rest periods, service incentive leave, and 13th month pay; (c) Freedom from employers’ interference in the disposal of wages; (d) Coverage under the SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG laws; (e) Standard of treatment; (f) Board, lodging and medical attendance; (g) Right to privacy; (h) Access to outside communication; (i) Access to education and training; (j) Right to form, join, orassistlabororganization; (k) Right to be provided a copy of the employment contract as required in Section 7, Rule II; (l) Right to certificate of employment as required in Section 5, Rule VII; (m)Right to terminate the employment as provided in Section 2, Rule VII; and (n) Right to exercise their own religious beliefs and cultural practices.

Please refer to IRR of RA 10631 for all the detailed rules governing employment of a domestic worker.

Q: What is the minimum wage of the domestic helper?

A: The minimum wage for domestic workers are adjusted form time to time and vary depending on the geographic region. For instance, in 2022, the minimum wage for domestic workers is Php6,000 a month in Metro Manila.

Q: How many days of paid leave is my helper entitled to?

A: A domestic worker is entitled to at least five days of paid service incentive leave.

Q: Am I required to pay thirteenth month pay to my helper?

A: Yes. 13th month pay is required by law for domestic workers.

Q: After I’m sure that I complied with the requirements of employing a domestic worker, how do I know if I can terminate him/her?

A: You will want to check if the domestic helper has committed an act that falls under the grounds for termination.

Q: What are the grounds for terminating my helper?

A: An employer may terminate a domestic worker for: misconduct or willful disobedience by the worker of a lawful order, gross or habitual neglect or inefficiency in the performance of duties by the worker.

###. Q: What is the ‘twin notice’ requirement?

A: You are required to inform the helper in writing that he/she is going to be terminated, as well as the grounds for such termination; and, that he/she is given time to explain why he/she should not be terminated. This is the first notice.

Q: Am I required to give a formal hearing to the worker?

A: No. What is important is that the worker has had sufficient time to prepare the explanation. It is recommended that you give at least five days for your worker to prepare an explanation.

Q: What if my helper does not provide an explanation?

A: That is ok. What is important is that the domestic worker had a chance to explain.

Q: What is the second notice?

A: After the domestic worker is given a chance to explain his/her side, you are required to inform the worker in writing of what the final decision is – whether he/she is terminated or not.