When I asked around, I am surprised that there are still a handful of households who don't give 13th month pay to their helpers. Confusion further lies when I talk to some people who give 13th month pay to helpers treating it as a gift more than a right of the helper. I must admit, I am one of the latter until recently called attention to by 2 readers of TheGoMom. So, is 13th month pay a gift or required by law?
According to Article 4, Section 25 of the Republic Act No. 10361 or the “Domestic Workers Act” or “Batas Kasambahay” enacted in 2013, "domestic helpers are entitled to a thirteenth month pay as provided for by law." According to the Implementing Rules and Regulations issued by the Department of Labor and Employment, the kasambahay / helper who has rendered at least one (1) month of service is entitled to a 13th month pay which shall not be less than 1/12 of her total basic salary earned in a calendar year. If the helper has worked for you for a year, then 13th month pay is equal to a full month's salary. While if she has worked for you for X months, computation should be (monthly salary / 12) * X months. *
With that, household employers must factor in the 13th month pay as part of our salary offer to our helpers at the beginning of employment. And of course, factor it in our budgets too. In our business, since we have a few workers, we make it a point to save an additional 8.5% of the worker's salary every month in preparation for the 13th month pay. We household employers can do the same in order to cushion the huge blow of the holiday expenses.
Household helpers are our angels at home, let's give them their due.
Note: Thanks to Makabayan and Theresa for calling my attention to this.