Househelpers (RA 10361)

The law on househelpers under the Labor Code has been amended by RA 7655. RA 7655 is an Act Increasing the Minimum Wage of Househelpers. The Civil Code of the Philippines (Act 386) also provides rules and regulations on household service.

The Labor Code's Articles 141-152, the law on househelpers, have also been repealed by RA 10361 or the Kasambahay Law.


This Chapter on Househelpers originally covers Articles 141 to 152. The entire Chapter III, however, has been expressly repealed by R.A. No. 10361, otherwise known as “Domestic Workers Act” or “Batas Kasambahay” approved by President Benigno S. Aquino III on January 18, 2013.

Further, note must be made that R.A. No. 10361, despite its expressed intent of repealing the said provisions, did not follow the numbering pattern of the Labor Code, as renumbered lately pursuant to Section 5 of R.A. No. 10151 [June 21, 2011]. It, in fact, has its own designation of its provisions which it denominated as “sections.” This notwithstanding the fact that it merely rehashed or revived some principles already embodied in the repealed provisions of the Labor Code. For purposes of discussion, therefore, its substantive provisions are presented herein following the presentation in the law itself.

Since the passage of RA 10361, the study of the law on househelpers should not longer be done through the Labor Code and RA 7655. The Kasambahay Law (Ra 10361) is now the controlling law regarding domestic helpers.


What is the coverage of the law?

RA 10361 applies to all domestic workers employed and working within the country. It shall cover all parties to an employment contract for the services of the following Kasambahay, whether on a live-in or live-out arrangement, such as, but not limited to:

  1. General househelp;
  2. Yaya;
  3. Cook;
  4. Gardener;
  5. Laundry person; or
  6. Any person who regularly performs domestic work in one household on an occupational basis.

What are the exclusions?

The following are not covered:

  1. Service providers;
  2. Family drivers;
  3. Children under foster family arrangement; and
  4. Any other person who performs work occasionally or sporadically and not on an occupational basis.


Some important terms are defined below:

“Domestic worker” or “kasambahay” refers to any person engaged in domestic work within an employment relationship, whether on a live-in or live-out arrangement, such as, but not limited to, general househelp, "yaya", cook, gardener, or laundry person, but shall exclude service providers, family drivers, children who are under foster family arrangement, or any person who performs domestic work only occasionally or sporadically and not on an occupational basis.

This term shall not include children who are under foster family arrangement which refers to children who are living with a family or household of relative/s and are provided access to education and given an allowance incidental to education, I.e. , "baon", transportation, school projects, and school activities; provided, that the foster family and foster care arrangements are in compliance with the procedures and requirements as prescribed by R.A. No. 10165 or the “Foster Care Act of 2012.”

Because of these new terminologies prescribed in the law, the use of the term “househelper” may no longer be legally correct.

“Domestic work” refers to work performed in or for a household or households.

"Household" refers to the immediate members of the family or the occupants of the house who are directly and regularly provided services by the Kasambahay.

"Employer" refers to any person who engages and controls the services of a Kasambahay and is party to the employment contract.

"Live-out arrangement" refers to an arrangement whereby the Kasambahay works within the employer's household but does not reside therein.

"Service provider" refers to any person or entity that carries an independent business and undertakes to perform job, work or service on his/her own for a household, according to his/her own manner and method, and free from the control and direction of the employer in all matters in connection with the performance of the work except as to the results thereof.