Written Employment Contract for Househelpers

WRITTEN EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT

The employment contract must be in writing and should contain the conditions set by law.

To make the relationship between the employer and the kasambahay more formal, R.A. No. 1036122 requires that a written contract of employment be executed between them. This is a very significant improvement since not even the Labor Code requires the execution of a written instrument in order to create or establish an employer-employee relationship. It is a well-established rule that such relationship need not be documented by a written contract. Once the elements of the employer-employee relationship are determined and established, it is immaterial whether such relationship was created verbally or in writing.

What should be the contents of the employment contract?

Before the commencement of the service, a written employment contract between the Kasambahay and the employer shall be accomplished in three (3) copies. The contract shall be in a language or dialect understood by both the Kasambahay and the employer, and shall include the following:
  1. Duties and responsibilities of the Kasambahay, including the responsibility to render satisfactory service at all times;
  2. Period of employment;
  3. Compensation;
  4. Authorized deductions;
  5. Hours of work and proportionate additional payment;
  6. Rest days and allowable leaves;
  7. Board, lodging and medical attention;
  8. Agreements on deployment expenses, if any;
  9. Loan agreement, if any;
  10. Termination of employment; and
  11. Any other lawful condition agreed upon by both parties. If the Kasambahay is below 18 years old, the employment contract shall be signed by his/her parent or lawful guardian on his/her behalf.
Upon the request of either party, the Punong Barangay or his/her designated officer shall read and explain the contents of the contract to both parties and shall serve as its witness.

Standard employment contract

The employment contract shall conform to the DOLE Standard Employment Contract (Kontrata sa Paglilingkod sa Tahanan) or Form BK-1.

Distribution of copies of employment contract

The employer shall have the obligation to furnish a copy of the employment contract to the Kasambahay and to the Office of the Punong Barangay in the barangay where the employer resides.

Renewal of Contract

Should the parties mutually agree to continue their employment relationship upon expiration of the contract, they shall execute a new contract to be registered with the concerned barangay. However, if the parties fail to execute a new contract, the terms and conditions of the original contract and other improvements granted during the effectivity of said contract are deemed renewed.

Domestic workers cannot acquire regularity of employment under R.A. No. 10361.

Despite the repeal of the entire chapter of the Labor Code on Househelpers by R.A. No. 10361, all the indicia of regularity of employment remain absent in the employment of domestic helpers. The following factors clearly show that domestic helpers can never become regular employees:
  1. By express provision of the law, the employment contracts of Kasambahays are for fixed or definite term. They do not fix the period of employment nor put a cap on their duration, unlike in Article 142 of the Labor Code.
  2. The law does not recognize any probationary employment of Kasambahays;
  3. The Kasambahays are not included in the concept of regular employment under Article 280 (Regular and Casual Employment) of the Labor Code;
  4. The Kasambahays are not entitled to the reliefs provided under Article 279 of the Labor Code such as “reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and to his/her full backwages, inclusive of allowances, and to his/her other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from the time his/her compensation was withheld from him/her up to the time of his/her actual reinstatement”;
  5. The Kasambahays’ enjoyment of security of tenure holds true only during the effectivity of their fixed-term employment;
  6. The employment of Kasambahays ceases upon the expiration of the fixed term thereof;
  7. The contract of employment of Kasambahays is terminable by mere notice, a clear indication that the employment is not regular in nature;
  8. The Kasambahay is given the right to pre-terminate the employment contract.

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