Minimum Wage for Househelpers

KASAMBAHAY MINIMUM WAGE: How much is the minimum wage of a Kasambahay?

The citation in the syllabus of R.A. No. 7655, as part of the materials on this topic is no longer appropriate in the light of the new set of minimum wage rates prescribed in R.A. No. 10361, thus:

SEC 24. Minimum Wage. – The minimum wage of domestic workers shall not be less than the following: (a) Two thousand five hundred pesos (P2,500.00) a month for those employed in the National Capital Region (NCR); (b) Two thousand pesos (P2,000.00) a month for those employed in chartered cities and first class municipalities; and (c) One thousand five hundred pesos (P1,500.00) a month for those employed in other municipalities.

After one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act, and periodically thereafter, the Regional Tripartite and Productivity Wage Boards (RTPWBs) shall review, and if proper, determine and adjust the minimum wage rates of domestic workers.
Here are some important principles on wages.

Under the principle of frequency of payment of wages, the wages of the Kasambahay shall be paid at least once a month. This is so because the minimum wage rates are on a monthly basis.

The equivalent minimum daily wage rate of the Kasambahay shall be determined by dividing the applicable minimum monthly rate by thirty (30) days.

The amount of the minimum wage depends on the geographical area where the Kasambahay works.

How should payment of wages be made?

To whom paid? It should be made on time directly to the Kasambahay to whom they are due in cash at least once a month.

Are deductions or prohibitions allowed? The employer, unless allowed by the Kasambahay through a written consent, shall make no deductions from the wages other than that which is mandated by law such as for SSS, Philhealth or Pag-IBIG contributions.

Deduction for loss or damage shall only be made under the following conditions:
  1. The Kasambahay is clearly shown to be responsible for the loss or damage;
  2. The Kasambahay is given reasonable opportunity to show cause why deduction should not be made;
  3. The total amount of such deductions is fair and reasonable and shall not exceed the actual loss or damage; and
  4. The deduction from the wages of the Kasambahay does not exceed 20% of his/her wages in a month.
The DOLE shall extend free assistance in the determination of fair and reasonable wage deductions.

Mode of Payment

It should be paid in cash and not by means of promissory notes, vouchers, coupons, tokens, tickets, chits, or any object other than the cash wage as provided for under this Act.

Pay slip

The employer shall at all times provide the Kasambahay with a copy of the pay slip containing the amount paid in cash every pay day, and indicating all deductions made, if any. The copies of the pay slip shall be kept by the employer for a period of three (3) years.

Prohibition on Interference in the disposal of wages

It shall be unlawful for the employer to interfere with the freedom of the Kasambahay in the disposition of his/her wages, such as: (a) Forcing, compelling, or obliging the Kasambahay to purchase merchandise, commodities or other properties from the employer or from any other person; or (b) Making use of any store or services of such employer or any other person.

Prohibition against withholding of wages

It shall be unlawful for an employer, directly or indirectly, to withhold the wages of the Kasambahay. If the Kasambahay leaves without any justifiable reason, any unpaid salary for a period not exceeding fifteen (15) days shall be forfeited. Likewise, the employer shall not induce the Kasambahay to give up any part of the wages by force, stealth, intimidation, threat or by any other means whatsoever.