What is holiday pay?

Holiday pay is a legislated benefit enacted as part of the Constitutional imperative that the State shall afford protection to labor.[1] Its purpose is not merely "to prevent diminution of the monthly income of the workers on account of work interruptions. In other words, although the worker is forced to take a rest, he earns what he should earn, that is, his holiday pay."[2] It is also intended to enable the worker to participate in the national celebrations held during the days identified as with great historical and cultural significance.Independence Day (June 12), Araw ng Kagitingan (April 9), National Heroes Day (last Sunday of August), Bonifacio Day (November 30) and Rizal Day (December 30) were declared national holidays to afford Filipinos with a recurring opportunity to commemorate the heroism of the Filipino people, promote national identity, and deepen the spirit of patriotism. Labor Day (May 1) is a day traditionally reserved to celebrate the contributions of the working class to the development of the nation, while the religious holidays designated in Executive Order No. 203 allow the worker to celebrate his faith with his family.

Article 94 of the Labor Code, as amended, affords a worker the enjoyment of ten (now twelve) paid regular holidays.[3] The provision is mandatory,[4] regardless of whether an employee is paid on a monthly or daily basis.[5] Unlike a bonus, which is a management prerogative,[6] holiday pay is a statutory benefit demandable under the law. Since a worker is entitled to the enjoyment of twelve paid regular holidays, the fact that two holidays fall on the same date should not operate to reduce to eleven the twelve holiday pay benefits a worker is entitled to receive.

[1] Const., Art. XIII, Sec. 3.

[2] Vide Jose Rizal College v. NLRC and NATOW, G.R. No. 65482, December 1, 1987.

[3] Vide Book V, Title I of Pres. Decree No. 1083, "Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines," (February 4, 1977) which recognizes the official Muslim holidays.

[4] Art. 94 of the Labor Code provides by way of exception retail and service establishments regularly employing less than ten (10) workers.

[5] Insular Bank of Asia and America Employees’ Union (IBAAEU) v. Inciong, No. L-52415, October 23, 1984, 132 SCRA 663; Chartered Bank Employees Association v. Ople, No. L-44717, August 28, 1985, 138 SCRA 273; Mantrade/FMMC Division Employees and Workers Union v. Bacungan, No. L-48437, September 30, 1986, 144 SCRA 510.

[6] Producers Bank of the Philippines v. NLRC, G.R. No. 100701, March 28, 2001, 355 SCRA 489, 496.