HR Talk: 22 Most Common Questions Asked by Employees in GCQ Answered

It’s been a month since we returned to work and things are returning back to normal except for the COVID-19 confirmed cases rising on a daily basis, at the very least, deaths are kept steady, which is still a good thing.

The HR world is still full of uncertainty as companies retrench large group of workers and businesses are closing down due to large losses due to the 2.5 months of no income as a result of ECQ. Last June 2020, the PSA announced that 7.3 million workers have lost their jobs. I feel that this number is higher now in July as more companies prepare for a recession come 2nd half of 2020.

69000

I have already done this exercise last May but given the many changes that’s happening over the last few weeks, I’m updating this post again with the latest advisories.

Because of this, I’ve decided to just collate all the most common questions and answers for everybody’s benefit.

22 MOST COMMON HR QUESTIONS EMPLOYEES ASK DURING GCQ ANSWERED

1. Now that there’s more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines are private companies mandated to pay Hazard Pay

2. I have worked for my Employer for more than 10 years. But I need to resign for my health. Do I get separation pay?

3. Who are the Only Employees qualified for Separation Pay?

4. Can a Company Fire Employees During ECQ or GCQ?

5. Does a Company Need to Report All Employees Who Departed to DOLE?

6. Patay! The Company has not Reported to DOLE? Papaano na?!

7. How Soon Can You Rehire After a Retrenchment or Redundancy?

8. There’s Too Many COVID-Cases Nowadays. Takot Ako for my Life. Can I Not Report To Work?

9. Transportation is inconvenient. Can I Not Report Because There’s No Public Transportation Available?

10. My Employer is asking Me to Give Them a Negative COVID-19 Test Result before I am Asked to Report. Who will Pay for It?

11. Is COVID-19 Testing Mandatory?

12. We have a Staff who Refused to Undergo the COVID-19 Test? Babayaran na namin, tapos, ayaw pa? What Should We Do?

13. Oh NO! One of Our Staff Tested Positive in Rapid Test. What Do We Do?!

14. Will the Company pay for the 14-day Home Quarantine if due to COVID-19?

15. If I am positive of COVID-19, what is the Company Liable for?

16. I am Pregnant or a Senior Citizen, and I was Placed in Floating Status. Is this Legal? 

17. Is the Employer Not Obliged to Give Employees Work From Home (WFH) Opportunities?

18. Wait, is Floating Status Even Legal?

19. Can an Employee Find New Work When Placed in Temporary Lay-Off/Floating Status?

20. What Happens if my Employer Cannot Return Me to Work After the 6 Months (for Direct), or 3 Months (for Agency Hired Workers)?

21. How do I Compute for my Separation/Retrenchment/Retirement Pay Again?

22. Can an Employer Reduce my Wages and Benefits?

BONUS QUESTION: Do I Have to Return the SBWS Ayuda if I Resigned in GCQ?

22 MOST COMMON QUESTIONS ASKED BY EMPLOYEES DURING GCQ ANSWERED

1. Now that there’s more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, are private companies mandated to pay Hazard Pay?

No, Private Employers are NOT mandated to pay Hazard Pay. If they did pay you a Hazard Pay to come into ECQ to report, then they can remove it at any time because this pay is a management prerogative and not prescribed by law.

The only mandated hazard pay was for those Government personnel reporting for work during the Enhanced Community Quarantine Period. Only those who report to work can avail, and there’s no instruction yet whether this Hazard Pay is continued beyond the ECQ.

COVID-19-Hazard-Pay-Guidelines

2. I have worked for my Employer for more than 10 years. But I need to resign for my health. Do I get separation pay?

It does not matter how many years you’ve worked for your employer. It can be 1 year to 25 years. However, if you voluntarily resigned, your Employer DOES NOT NEED to give you a separation pay, regardless on how many years of your tenure. 

Here are the people employers do NOT need to give Separation Pay:

  • End of Contract Employees, regardless of Contractual, Fixed Term or Project Based
  • Probationary Employees who did not pass the standards for regularization
  • Employees who resigned from their work, regardless of tenure
  • Employees who were terminated for Just Causes:

Just CausesSource: Department of Labor and Employment, October 2017

The only exception is except the Separation Pay is stipulated in your employment contract or Collective Bargaining Agreement or based on established employer practice in the company.

IMPORTANT: If you are terminated for the above-mentioned reasons — end of contract, probationary, Just Causes, or resigned — you are NOT qualified for the SSS Involuntary Unemployment Benefit. So please do not pester your HR for a Certificate of Termination for Authorized Causes. You can however, ask for a Certificate of Employment (COE). 

3. Who are the Only Employees qualified for Separation Pay?

IMG_3965

These are the only people who are Qualified for Separation Pay:

Reasons

In other words, you have been terminated due to AUTHORIZED CAUSES, which is not the Employee’s Fault. These are as follows:

Authorized

If you are one of those who were terminated due to Authorized Causes, here’s an Excel I’ve made to help you compute how much you will get if you got Retrenched, Retired or Redundant. It’s in Excel so is not Mobile Friendly. Please use your desktop to access.

Retirement Pay Calculator

Download the Excel Here: Final Retirement Pay Calculator (TinainManila.com)

DISCLAIMER:  This online calculator is made available solely for the convenience of public. It follows the SSS schedule of contribution tables and is based on the author’s own interpretation. It provides calculations based on the information you provide. All data entered are not stored. It is suggested, however, to clear your browser cache after completing your transaction.

You can also avail of the SSS Involuntary Unemployment Benefits if you are terminated for Authorized Cause. You can read up on how to apply for it here.:

SSS Unemployment

4. Can a Company Fire Employees During ECQ or GCQ?

Yes — The Company can terminate any employee at ANY TIME so long as the Company follows Due Process. I have written about it extensively last May, HR TALK: “I was terminated during ECQ! What now?!” and 11 Other Questions Answered About Getting Fired in the Philippines

retrenchment-1200x600

Emerhub has probably the clearest infographics on how to properly terminate an Employee:

How to terminateSource: Emerhub

For Just Causes, you have to follow the Twin Notice Rule as above. The Final Pay should be given within 30 days after successful company clearance as stated in Labor Advisory No. 6, Series of 2020.

Twin Notice RuleSource: Roi Xcel, Slideshare

For Authorized Causes, all you have to do is provide DOLE and the Staff a Notice of Dismissal 30 Days before Termination.  And pay them the correct separation pay if any.

Authorized CauseSource: Roi Xcel, SlideShare

5. Does a Company Need to Report All Employees Who Departed to DOLE?

Companies do NOT NEED to report to DOLE employees who voluntarily resigned, went AWOL, or were terminated due to Just Causes (Their Fault).

However, DOLE has asked companies to report employees who were terminated For Authorized Causes (30-day Notice), were on Flexible Work Arrangement which includes Work-from-Home/Telecommuting (7 Days-Notice). This is a clear DOLE via their Labor Advisory 17-A, Series of 2020:

Labor Advisory 17-ACompanies can report by using the newest RKS Form 5 Establishment Report (DOWNLOAD HERE) last June 2020. It looks like this. You have to use the correct, latest version to be considered as properly filed. Email it to the DOLE branch where your office is located. For email addresses, here’s the details from the DOLE website. Please followup that this has been acknowledged by DOLE by email:

RKS Form 5

Page 2

Download Form: Revised Establishment Report Form

6. Patay! The Company has not Reported to DOLE? Papaano na?!

The law is clear — If you’re going to remove any employee for Authorized Causes, you need to give DOLE AND the Employee 30 day notice.

I suggest you inform both immediately. Otherwise, while your cause for termination is valid, ma-tetechnical ang company for not following due process.

DO IT ASAP!

7. How Soon Can You Rehire After a Retrenchment or Redundancy?

REMINDER: Please Terminate Employees following Good Faith

retrenchment (1)

If you terminate employees after a Retrenchment or Redundancy, you should not be quick to hire another person for the same positions. Here

For retrenchment, the reason should not be there anymore then you can hire. Kasi for retrenchment it is to prevent future losses, how long can you reverse that? It’s a matter of evidence. There is no jurisprudence on that but if done in a short while, then it will be taken against you.

For redundancy, obviously you cannot hire for the same position kasi nga abolished. If ever you revise the position it should not look like you abolished just to terminate the last one. Fine line.

Wait, What’s the Difference Between Redundancy and Retrenchment?

Thanks to Bab Research for this wonderful chart:

Redundancy vs. Retrenchment

Here’s their Youtube Page if you want to Like and Subscribe:

Bab Research

8. There’s Too Many COVID-Cases Nowadays. Takot Ako for my Life. Can I Not Report To Work?

Yes you may — But your company is also allowed to terminate your employment for Just Causes following due process.

DOLE has now allowed companies to operate if they follow minimum DOLE and DTI Health Guidelines for COVID-19 Prevention.

Labor 17

I have written about these Guidelines previously last May 2020 and have included the forms needed to ensure you are DOLE compliant, which includes asking every visitor to submit a Health Checklist:

Visitor’s Health Checklist

Visitors Checklist
Downloadable Form Here: VISITOR’S HEALTH CHECKLIST – General.

Hence, if the employees do not report when asked, company will only need to follow due process to terminate. All they have to do is follow the Twin Notice Rule. This is 100% legal.

This may fall under Just Cause of Termination — Insubordination, Willful Disobedience and/or Gross Neglect of Duties.

All HR has to do is issue a:

  1. Return to Work Order (RTWO)
  2. Notice to Explain (NTE)
  3. Another warning and Notice to Explain just to be sure – this is just for us.
  4. Administrative Hearing
  5. Notice of Termination for Just Causes due to Refusal to Report to Work

BUT WHAT ABOUT ME BEING IN IMMINENT DANGER?

So long as the company complies with the DTI and DOLE Interim Guideline Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID, workers cannot say that there is imminent danger in the workplace without any proof.

Hence, employees cannot use the excuse that “takot ako sa buhay ko,” to refuse to go to work without any repercussions. For them to use the excuse that their workplace is dangerous, DOLE has to first determine that the workplace is indeed dangerous, and issue a Work Stoppage Order to suspend operations.

Stoppage

Without the Work Stoppage Order from DOLE, employees must report if asked by their employees. If they went absent, employers have the right to issue warnings and sanctions to get them to come in. If there is imminent danger, the employees and/or safety officer can report the employer to DOLE. But you still have to report until DOLE comes in, inspects and issues a Work Stoppage Order.

Stoppage2

9. Transportation is inconvenient. Can I Not Report Because There’s No Public Transportation Available?

DOLE has mandated Employees to provide for shuttle buses or accommodation if they want to force the Employees to report during ECQ and MECQ.

However, for GCQ, there’s no advisory yet. In the absence of any formal advisories, the provision of shuttle services and decent accommodation is NOT mandatory, and is only requested from employers whenever feasible.

shuttle

So no, you can’t use the “lack of shuttle buses and accommodation” as a reason why you can’t go to work. To be fair, since we have re-opened operations in June 1, all our staff have reported. The only staff who did not report was aged 19 years old and was not allowed by the LGU to go out.

Kung gusto, may paraan. Kung ayaw, maraming dahilan. 

transportPhoto Source: ABS-CBN News

10. My Employer is asking Me To Give Them a Negative COVID-19 Test Result before I am Asked to Report. Who will Pay for It?

Labor Advisory No. 18-A is clear on who pays for the rapid test/swab test — The Employer. If the staff is an agency hired employee, it is the PRINCIPAL who will have to pay for the costs of COVID-19 prevention and control measures, not the agency.

Test

If the Employer does not have budget for the test, which by the way is NOT mandatory, then the employee can have themselves tested in the local barangay or LGU which offers free COVID-19 testing.

11. Is COVID-19 Testing Mandatory?

Nope.

Again, unless the LGU specifically requests for it, companies do not need to test their employees unless they are symptomatic. All the company has to do is require the employee to file their Health Checklist Form everyday, ensure that the entire company is following the DTI and DOLE Health Rules and follow proper procedure when a worker is suspected to be positive.

We did however get our Innovita Rapid Tests from Project Ark’s Lifecore at Php 450 per box + VAT. It is straight from the source, which is why we got ours for cheaper. For everyone’s peace of mind, we tested our staff at the first day of work, all of whom turned out to be negative.  Again, testing is not mandatory.

LifeCore
License To Operate as Medical Device Importer per LTO 3000006146613
FDA Approved Brand: Innovita 2019-nCoV Ab Test (Colloidal Gold)
Sets Per Box: 40 pcs
Email to Order:  opae.arkorders@gmail.com
Look for: Avelaine ((+632) 8889-1129 local 124)

Innovita

The test takes 2.5 to 5 minutes to do. It’s actually very easy.

How to use
Source: PR Newswire

NOTE: You have to have a Certified Physician to do the test to have an official Certification.

The Cheapest RT-PCR Test that I’ve found was at Chinese General Hospital:

covid

CGH Swab Test Cost Details:

  • Drive Thru – Php 5,500.00 (You must first pre-book on their website)
  • Walk-in Cash – Php 5,000.00 (Mon – Fri)
  • First Come First Serve Walk-in with Philhealth, ONLY Php 1,600.00

Forms are available with the Guard need 2 valid Government Issued ID
First Come First Serve With additional discount for PWD / Seniors

Telephone: Chinese General Hospital: +632-8711-4141

Website: https://cghmc.com.ph/online/booking/

12. We have a Staff who Refused to Undergo the COVID-19 Test? Babayaran na namin, tapos, ayaw pa? What Should We Do?

This is in violation of RA 11332, Section 9, An Act Providing Policies and Prescribing Procedures on Surveillance and Response to Notifiable Diseases, Epidemics, and Health Events of Public Health Concern, and Appropriating Funds Therefor, Repealing for the Purpose Act No. 3573, Otherwise Known as the “Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases”as follows:

RA 11332

Companies can compel the staff to medical examination and tests in lieu of everybody’s public health. Because if that person is positive, and it was not disclosed properly, then it would endanger everybody’s lives.

However, companies must still follow due process when a staff makes the refusal. This is the same when an employee refuses to Subject Oneself to Physical Examinations — You can actually give him an NTE to Explain His Refusal. This is under INSUBORDINATION, and if not corrected, a terminable offense.

This is a Sample Letter that can be issued by a company to an Employee who refuses medical attention.

Refusal For Medical Examination
This is scanned and copied directly from Atty. Elvin Villanueva and Sheila Marie P. Emata’s Book: Human Resource Forms, Notices & Contracts that’s published by Central Books. You can buy this book as it contains a wealth of other forms you can use for day to day.

Addendum from Martin Sanderson who PM’d me a clarification:

“Yes, I know the content of RA 11332, under Section 9, but the provisions should be read properly, if applied to an individual. As it says: “(e) Non-cooperation of the person or entities identified as having the notifiable disease, or affected by the health event of public concern.”

Until such time as the person has been “identified” as having been infected with COVID-19, there is no violation of this law. Moreover, the government has already stated that it is not mandatory for workers returning to work to be tested. Which means the employer cannot make it mandatory either. In a press release regarding the Department Memorandum No. 2020-0220 on Interim Guidelines on Return to Work, issued on May 21, 2020, the Department of Health (DOH) reiterated that it is NOT an official requirement for employees to get tested before returning to work. They also reiterated that “neither is it expected that employers require their employees to get tested.”

This means that, while you can ASK nicely for your employees to take the COVID-19 swab test, you CANNOT insist on it. And for all those that agree to take it, the EMPLOYER is liable to cover the cost of the testing.

So what to do when an employee refuses? They can always not permit them to work, as this is a management prerogative. If the employee refuses to take the test, leave them on NWNP for another few weeks until they either comply or the need is over.

P.S. If the employee is found to have lied on the medical questionnaire, it is a violation that must be sanctioned, and is a termination offense in most cases.”

13. Oh NO! One of Our Staff Tested Positive in Rapid Test. What Do We Do?!

This is the Standard Operating Procedure if you discover that one of your staff tested positive in the rapid test:

Suspected

Source: DTI and DOLE Health Guidelines for COVID-19 Prevention

This is a reiteration of Labor Advisory No. 4:

Labor 4 - SOP

If somebody is tested positive by rapid test, you need another RT-PCR/Swab Test to ensure he is truly positive. The results will come out in 3 days or so.

Everybody present with suspected positive worker must be placed on home quarantine until the suspected worker’s Swab Test results come out. The place of work must be thoroughly disinfected. After disinfection, the place of work can again be opened for the other batch of workers after 24 hours. This is legal. It is only the group of workers with the suspected positive worker who must be on home quarantine.

If the second test confirms the worker as positive of COVID-19, everyone present that day must stay at home for 14-days. If the second test shows a false positive, meaning, the worker is negative of COVID-19, everyone — including the suspected COVID-19 patient — can come back to work.

The COVID-19 Positive Patient with confirmatory RT PCR / Swab Test must be reported to the Barangay, LGU and DOH for proper contact tracing.

14. Will the Company pay for the 14-day Home Quarantine if due to COVID-19?

The Labor Advisory No. 4, Series of 2020 is clear — NO. It is still No-Work, No-Pay.

Labor Advisory No. 4

Sorry. While employers may provide financial assistance, it’s NOT mandatory. And an employee cannot compel the boss to pay them anything just because they have mouths to feed.

15. If I am positive of COVID-19, what is the Company Liable for?

If you do not have SSS, PhilHealth Coverage due to the fault of the employer, the employer will pay for your expenses from the time you got diagnosed up until the time you get well.

Labor 4 - Coverage
Source: Labor Advisory No. 4, Series of 2020

If you do have SSS and/or Philhealth Benefits, they will cover you in the event of getting COVID-19. For SSS, there’s the SSS Sickness Benefit (Requires: 3 months contributions within the 12-month period before the semester of sickness) and Employee’s Compensation (EC) Program.

In general, this is the extent of coverage you can get if you get COVID-19 — It’s not big but it’s not zero. There is aid. But we still need to help ourselves:

Coverage

Here’s more information about the PhilHealth benefits you can get if you have COVID-19:IMG_1775Anything beyond this, the government nor the company is not really liable. If the company has an HMO or a CBA, then the employee gets additional benefits.

However, please be conscious about the fine print in availing the benefits of an HMO. You need proper reporting and receipts to avail of HMO. If you get COVID-19, there are no cash outs but you may reimburse your expenses if you have an HMO or a CBA, depending on the content of the agreement.

coronavirustreatment1Image Source

So please do not be as quick to insist that you be hospitalized if you are asymptomatic. Please be careful, quarantine yourself properly, and enjoy the rest. Because if you are hospitalized, every single cost will be charged to the hospital bill — every swab test, PPE, medicine and room stay. If the employee is not careful, he can be very well liable for the hospitalization bill that’s not covered by SSS, Philhealth and HMO.

16. I am Pregnant or a Senior Citizen, and I was Placed in Floating Status. Is this Legal? 

Priority staff

Yes, because the government considers senior citizens and pregnant women as high risk. Thus employers are encouraged — but not mandated — to offer WFH opportunities.

At riskSource: Workplace rules set to cut spread of COVID-19, May 2020

If there is no work that can be assigned, management has no choice but to place that staff in floating status under No Work No Pay. Once again, we refer back to Labor Advisory No. 4, Series of 2020:

Labor Advisory No. 4

17. Is the Employer Not Obliged to Give Employees Work From Home Opportunities?

Let’s make it clear: Work from Home (WFH) is a Privilege — NOT an Obligation.

The Republic Act No. 11165 or the Telecommuting Act gives Employers the OPTION to offer employees Telecommuting or WFH as an alternative work arrangement which employers may implement upon agreement with their employees, subject to mutually agreed terms and conditions. Essentially, the new law sets out the rights and duties of the employers and employees when a telecommuting program is in place. It further provides for the resolution of grievances arising from the telecommuting program.

WFHImage Source: IT Chronicles

It is an OPTION that employers can do. However, it is not mandatory unless the employment contract states that the employee is a work-from-home from the very beginning. Even with COVID-19 on the rise, WFH is still a benefit that’s graciously given but can also be taken away. So if this type of arrangement does not work for the Employers anymore, they may remove this privilege.

18. Wait, is Floating Status Even Legal?

Martin Sanderson shares his thoughts on Floating Status in his comprehensive article, Suspension of Business Operations. It’s a worthwhile read. But if you don’t like to read, I can tell you for a fact that yes, it is legal to place employees under floating status with conditions. This is the Jurisprudence for Article 301, When an Employment is Not Deemed Terminated:

Article 301

The Supreme Court in the case of Crispin B. Lopez vs. Irvine Construction Corp. and Tomas Sy Santos (GR 207253, Aug. 20, 2014) through Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, gives an enlightening explanation about lay-off as a valid management prerogative, to wit:

“It is defined as the severance of employment, through no fault of and without prejudice to the employee, resorted to by management during the periods of business recession, industrial depression, or seasonal fluctuations, or during lulls caused by lack of orders, shortage of materials, conversion of the plant to a new production program or the introduction of new methods or more efficient machinery, or of automation. Elsewise stated, lay-off is an act of the employer of dismissing employees because of losses in the operation, lack of work, and considerable reduction on the volume of its business, a right recognized and affirmed by the Court. However, a lay-off would be tantamount to a dismissal only if it is permanent.

“When a lay-off is only temporary, the employment status of the employee is not deemed terminated, but merely suspended. The lay-off, being an exercise of the employer’s management prerogative, must be exercised in good faith – that is, one which is intended for the advancement of employers’ interest and not for the purpose of defeating or circumventing the rights of the employees under special laws or under valid agreements. xxx xxx xxx Six months is the period set by law that the operation of a business or undertaking may be suspended thereby suspending the employment of the employees concerned. The temporary lay-off wherein the employees likewise cease to work should also not last longer than six months. After six months, the employees should either be recalled to work or permanently retrenched following the requirements of the law, and that failing to comply with this would be tantamount to dismissing the employees and the employer would thus be liable for such dismissal.” (Emphases supplied).

Source: Manila Times, PAO Persida Acosta, September 29, 2019

Direct employers can place their employees on floating status for 6 months. But for agency-employed workers who are follow DO 174, floating status is only for 3 months.

If an Employer wishes to apply for floating status, here are the steps: HR Talk: How to Apply for Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA), Temporary Closure, Retrenchment and Permanent Closure. Please note that you need to use the latest RKS 5 Form.

RKS Form 5

Page 2

Download Form: Revised Establishment Report Form

When does the Count of 6 Months Start?

The count of the suspension starts on the first day of the suspension period, which occurs AFTER the 30-day notice period (or immediately on the effect of the closure of business on March 17, for those companies that closed with their employees on NWNP).

Time to start

If the staff were already on floating status due to them being in BPO — and if the BPO got hit with the ECQ and hanggang ngayon, floating ba din sila — the BPO must make a decision to either ask the staff to return to work or retrench. If there’s no work to be given and they cannot give the staff work, retrenchment is the only option.

IMPORTANT: DOLE has NO formal announcements yet if the ECQ is counted in putting staff on floating status for regular employees. 

My lawyer says that the meter for the 6 months start when the company informs DOLE by submitting the RKS 5 Form.

Even when calling the DOLE Hotline, they cannot give me an answer as to whether the ECQ is included in the counting of 6 months.

The only notice that says ECQ is included relates to Probationary Employees in Labor Advisory No. 14-A, which does not count the ECQ (if unworked) to the 180-days count of employment.

Labor 14-A

So awaiting labor announcement regarding this.

REMINDER: RETRENCHMENT AND REDUNDANCY MUST BE DONE IN GOOD FAITH

Call-center

Companies always have to exercise good faith when terminating employees. In G.R. No. 235873 – Enrique Marco G. Yulo vs. Concentrix, jurisprudence indicates:

Essentially, redundancy exists when an employee’s position is superfluous, or an employee’s services are in excess of what would reasonably be demanded by the actual requirements of the enterprise. Redundancy could be the result of a number of factors, such as the overhiring of workers, a decrease in the volume of business, or the dropping of a particular line or service previously manufactured or undertaken by the enterprise.33 In this relation, jurisprudence explains that the characterization of an employee’s services as redundant, and therefore, properly terminable, is an exercise of management prerogative,34 considering that an employer has no legal obligation to keep more employees than are necessary for the operation of its business.35

Nevertheless, case law qualifies that the exercise of such prerogative “must not be in violation of the law, and must not be arbitrary or malicious.”36 Thus, following Article 298 of the Labor Code as above cited, the law requires the employer to prove, inter alia, its good faith in abolishing the redundant positions, and further, the existence of fair and reasonable criteria in ascertaining what positions are to be declared redundant and accordingly abolished.

“To exhibit its good faith and that there was a fair and reasonable criteria in ascertaining redundant positions, a company claiming to be over manned must produce adequate proof of the same.”37

Thus, the Court has ruled that it is not enough for a company to merely declare that it has become overmanned. Rather, it must produce adequate proof of such redundancy to justify the dismissal of the affected employees, such as but not limited to the new staffing pattern, feasibility studies/proposal, on the viability of the newly created positions, job description and the approval by the management of the restructuring.38″

19. Can an Employee Find New Work When Placed in Temporary Lay-Off/Floating Status?

Depending on the Contract of Employment.

Temporary

In our company, we have a tight clause that prohibits employees for moonlighting, sidelining or accepting any other employment while being employed with us. If they accept other jobs, this is equivalent to resigning from their work, and we will send them an Notice to Explain (following due process) to explain why they have disobeyed this rule.

Meanwhile, there are some companies who are okay with employees finding another job while on temporary leave.

To be sure, coordinate with your HR to see what your company says about you taking another job.

20. What Happens if my Employer Cannot Return Me to Work After the 6 Months (for Direct), or 3 Months (for Agency Hired Workers)?

If not, then your Employer will pay you Separation Pay following your Years of Service.

And once again, you can apply for the Involuntary Unemployment Benefit of the SSS.

More infor

21. How do I Compute for my Separation/Retrenchment/Retirement Pay Again?

Again, here’s an Excel I’ve made to help you compute how much you will get if you got Retrenched, Retired or Redundant. It’s in Excel so is not Mobile Friendly. Please use your desktop to access.

Retirement Pay Calculator

Download the Excel Here: Final Retirement Pay Calculator (TinainManila.com)

DISCLAIMER:  This online calculator is made available solely for the convenience of public. It follows the SSS schedule of contribution tables and is based on the author’s own interpretation. It provides calculations based on the information you provide. All data entered are not stored. It is suggested, however, to clear your browser cache after completing your transaction.

For Retrenchment, I thank Richard de Dios for simplifying the calculation for all of us. Here’s how he computed the severance pay of a 22-month tenured employee:

“Ang 22 months is equivalent to 2 years tenure by virtue of the provision that a fraction of 6 months or more is considered 1 year.

Then said employee is only entitled to 1 month separation pay (1/2 per year of service x 2 years). The minimum 1 month applies to those with less than 1.5 years of tenure since they will only be entitled to 1/2 month pay if the entitlement is 1/2 month per year of service”

In short:

1 mo – 2 yrs 5 mos = 1 month pay

2 yrs 6 mos – 3 yrs 5 mos = 1.5 months pay

3 yrs 6 mos – 4 yrs 5 mos = 2 months pay

4 yrs 6 mos – 5 yrs 5 mos = 2.5 months pay

Thank you Sir Richard! ❤️

Please be reminded that there is NO SEPARATION PAY given to the following employees who left for the following reasons:

  • End of Contract Employees, regardless of Contractual, Fixed Term or Project Based
  • Probationary Employees who did not pass the standards for regularization
  • Employees who resigned from their work, regardless of tenure
  • Employees who were terminated for Just Causes:

Just CausesSource: Department of Labor and Employment, October 2017

22. Can an Employer Reduce my Wages and Benefits?

Under Labor Advisory No. 17, Series of 2020, this is allowed so long as there’s written agreement between the Employer and Employee:

IMG_2025

No matter what the reason, an employer cannot reduce the wages or benefits after a verbal agreement. It must be written and with the employee’s consent before the pay or benefit cut is done. If the agreement is after the pay cut, the employer is still liable for the amount if and when the employee complains.

This pay cut is only for 6 months ha. Huwag abuso and must be done in good faith.

BONUS QUESTION: Do I Have to Return the SBWS Ayuda if I Resigned in GCQ?

YES — You have to return the aid if you resigned in ECQ and MECQ.

NO — You do not need to return the aid if you resigned in GCQ.

Under the DOF-SSS-BIR Joint Memorandum Circular No. 001-2020, as amended, on the SBWS program, the following are required to return their SBWS subsidy:
  1. Employers who fail to maintain the employment status of their employee beneficiaries within the original SBWS Period of March 17, 2020 to May 31, 2020 must return to the government the SBWS amount granted to these employees.
  2. Employee-beneficiaries who resign during the period when enhanced community quarantine or modified enhanced community quarantine is imposed in the region or local government unit where the place of business of his employer is found.
  3. Employers who misrepresented in their application any material fact relevant to the eligibility of their employees, such as, but not limited to the following:
    1. those who paid wages/salary for the whole of ECQ to all employees;
    2. those whose employees were not prevented from going to work nor unpaid for at least two weeks (straight 14 consecutive days) during the ECQ;
    3. those who applied for separated employees;
    4. those whose employees voluntarily went on the following types of leave: maternity leave, paternity leave, study leave, sabbatical leave, and leaves of the same time — for the entire duration of the ECQ, whether with or without pay;
    5. those whose employees are recipients of SSS unemployment benefits due to COVID-19; or
    6. those whose employees have settled or in-process SSS final claims (funeral, retirement, death, and total disability).
  4. Employers of employees who are DOLE CAMP beneficiaries who received the full amount of the SBWS Second Tranche.
For employees who received both the DSWD’s SAP and SBWS, they should approach their Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer to discuss steps for refunding the DSWD’s SAP-ESP.

Source: Social Security System Facebook

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Posted in Business, Conflicts, covid-19, Employee Relations, entrepreneurship, Ethics, Filipino Men/Women, Finance, How to Manage People, Human Resources (HR), Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HR Talk: 13 Questions Answered about the 105-Day Maternity Leave Law (And an Excel Calculator to Compute Mat Ben)

The RA No. 11210 105-Day Maternity Leave Law is one of the most highly celebrated laws passed by the Duterte government last 2019. Despite the hoopla surrounding this law, so many people are still confused about its application, specifically how the maternity benefit is computed. Even as I’ve browsed through multiple articles, so many writers still have the computation part wrong.

What’s the semester of contingency? How exactly do you compute salary differential?”

To make things simpler, I have collated the following questions to make sense of this wonderful yet oftentimes confusing law for your reference:

14 questionsUpdated with two additional questions on July 6, 2020

1. What is RA No. 11210 or the Expanded Maternity Leave Law (EMLL)?

Pregnant

Otherwise known as the “105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law,” the RA 11210 expanded the maternity leave of women — married or otherwise — to:

  • Live Birth: 105-days with full pay, and an additional 30 days without pay. If the female worker wants to extend the leave, the female worker needs to give the head of the agency a written notice at least 45 days before the end of mat leave to get the extra 30 days without pay. The 30-day extension only applies for live childbirth.
  • Miscarriage (Pregnancy loss before the 20th week of gestation): 60 days with full pay. You cannot allocate the ML to anybody else.
  • Qualified Solo Parents under the RA 8972 “Solo Parents’ Welfare Act”: Will receive an extra 15 days of fully paid maternity leave, totaling 120 days.
    • Solo Parent: You must be qualified under the RA 8972 or the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000. Hindi pwedeng iniwanan ka ng asawa mo, automatic solo parent ka na who can avail of the extra 15 days.
    • The solo parent must present her Solo Parent ID issued within 2 years by the LGU from the delivery date, duly signed by the social worker and the city/municipal mayor. If the Solo Parent ID is not yet available, the member may secure and present a Certificate of Eligibility issued by the LGU and signed by the social worker/city/municipal mayor instead.
    • IMPORTANT: If she’s employed, she will be granted a salary differential for the extra period as long as she has rendered at least one year of service with the current employer.
  • Allocation of 7 Days to Caregiver, Leaving Woman with 98 Days: By written notice to the employer and the elected caregiver, the mother can allocate up to 7 days of her maternity benefits to the child’s father or sexual partner (pag gay), sharing the same household whether they are married or not.pregnant woman
    Photo Source

    If the father is in absentia, she can give it to an alternate caregiver. Qualified caregiver must be a relative within the 4th degree of consanguinity. The person MUST BE related to the female worker by blood and shares the same ancestry or lineage. Hindi pwedeng best friends lang.

    If no leave is allocated, the child’s father or alternative caregiver, can only be excused from work (leave without pay).

  • If the mother dies or is permanently incapacitated: The balance of her mat leave can be transferred to the father or the qualified caregiver. However, the conditions are:
    • The maternity leave benefits has not yet been converted to cash
    • A certified true copy of death certificate or medical certificate/abstract is provided to both the employers of the female worker and the child’s father or caregiver.
  • The allocation is beyond the 7 days of leave provided under RA 8187 or the “Paternity Leave Act of 1996,” which requires the father to be married AND co-habitating with the pregnant wife to be qualified.

Paternity

2. What is the Difference between the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law to its Predecessor?

New-SSS-Maternity-Benefit

  1. Number of paid leave days: Previously, the maternity leave was only 60 days for miscarriages and birth deliveries, 78 days for Caesarian births. Now, it’s 105 paid days for both natural or Caesarian births, and unchanged for miscarriages.
  2. Employers is responsible for paying the salary differential: The Salary Differential (SD) is the difference between the staff’s computed 105-days mat leave minus the actual cash benefits received from SSS. The salary differential exists because the highest SSS Monthly Salary Credit is Php 20,000 (Note: Enjoyed by workers who paid Php 2,400 per month of total SSS contributions).

    Salary differential

  3. Maternity leave with full pay — 105 days for childbirth, 60 days for miscarriage — shall still be granted if worker is terminated within Fifteen (15) days of birth, miscarriage or emergency termination of pregnancy. If the pregnant worker is terminated with Just Cause — meaning, fault of staff na terminate siya — this is not valid.

    Rule of Thumb, if you earn Php 20,000 or less, there is no salary differential. If you earn Php 20,001 or more, there is a salary differential.

     

  4. Frequency of births/miscarriages: The limit of 4 births are removed. However, no matter how many children birthed, it’s still just one claim of mat benefits per time.
  5. Solo Parents get an Additional 15 days Leave. Dati, wala.

3. What I Found to be Most Interesting About this Law:

  1. 10 Years: Period where a female member can claim maternity leave benefit with the SSS (SSS Circular No. 2019-009, Section 19). 9 years old na ang anak mo, pwede pang mahabol. 
  2. The maternity leave must be done in a continuous and uninterrupted manner. It may be a combo of prenatal and postnatal leave so long as it does not exceed the prescribed number of ML (Max: 105 days for birth, 60 days for miscarriages). In no case the postnatal care be less than 60 days (SSS Circular No. 2019-009).
  3. Mode of Payment: The female worker has the option of getting the full pay either through lump sum, or regular payment through agency payroll. The female worker must get a clearance from money, property and work-related accountabilities, but this should still not deprive her of the mat benefit.
  4. If the female employee goes AWOL, the Employer can still reimburse to the SSS by providing the following documents in combination below:

    AWOL SSS
    We understand that many employees choose to abandon their work without turnover after giving birth. Please ensure that the staff is cleared properly before her maternity leave, and you have complete documents in holding her accountable for certain documents if in case she does not return.

  5. Penalty: Employers should comply or be fined a Php 20,000 to Php 200,000 penalty, and may be imprisoned for 6 years and 1 day to 12 years. If the act is done by the company, its management head, directors or partners shall be liable for the penalties. A business can also be denied for business permit renewal.
  6. Sec. 15 of EMLL allows the company to transfer the female worker to a parallel position or reassignment from one organizational unit to another so long as it’s within the company and there’s no reduction of rank, status or salary. 
  7. Maternity benefit is actually non-taxable — thanks to Sir Richard de Dios for the correction.

    Salary Differential is not taxable as per RMC 105-2019.

    For self employed members, any SSS contributions remitted or paid to SSS in the months within the quarter of contingency will not be included or counted to met the 3 monthly contributions in the 12 month period prior the semester of contingency. This can happen since voluntary members has the option to pay monthly, quarterly or Annually. Below is a copy of RMC 105-2019 I’m sure a lot of people will be informed well because of the article you posted.

  8. People who signed this law in February 20 2019 were controversial and known to be anti-women. So are they truly anti-women? Kudos to them for passing this bill! :):
    • Pres Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Philippine President
    • Vicente C. Sotto III, Senate President
    • Gloria Macapagal -Arroyo, Speaker of the House of Representatives
    • Myra Marie D. Villarica, Senate Secretary
    • Dante Roberto P. Maling, Acting House of Representatives SecGen

4. How can an employer get exemption from RA No. 11210?

A company can be exempted from RA 11210 if employers asks DOLE for approval of exemption. This is done every year, and the justification is sufficient for DOLE to exempt the company. The target employers for exemption include:

  1. Distressed establishments
    • For companies: When actual net loss amounts to 25% of total assets or when there’s negative stockholders’ equity;
    • For sole prop and partnership: When the accumulated net loss for the last 2 accounting periods immediately before the application for exemption is 20% or more of the total invested capital under review, or when the boss registers capital deficiency before before the application for exemption
  2. Those retail/service businesses with 10 workers or less
  3. Those considered as micro business enterprises, and are engaged in the production, processing or manufacturing of products/commodities whose total assets are Php 3 million or less
  4. Those who are providing similar or more than the benefits provided

According to the DOLE Advisory No. 1, Series of 2019, employers can be exempted from paying the salary differential by submitting in duplicate copies the following documents to the DOLE Regional/Provincial/Field/Satellite Offices where they operate within the first semester of every calendar year:

  1. DOLE-Prescribed Application Form in Word Doc and PDF
  2. Copy of Certificate of Registration issued by the DTI or SEC
  3. Copy of latest business permit issued by LGU
  4. Additional requirements for the following
    1. For distressed establishments:
      • Audited financial statements duly received by the BIR and/or SEC or the Cooperative Development Authority or
      • Certificate from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas that the company is under receivership or liquidation
    2. Businesses that regularly employ no more than 10 workers:
      • Owner’s or President’s Affidavit as to the number of employees for the twelve-month period before the application date
    3. Micro-businesses whose total assets are not more than Php 3 million:
      • Barangay Micro Business Certification
    4. Establishments providing similar or more benefits provided in RA 11210:
      1.  CTC of existing Collective Bargaining Agreement or policy, or
      2. Employer and Worker Representative’s Certification of existing company practice

The Certificate of Exemption is valid for one year from issuance. However, if the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) has already issued that business a Certificate of Exemption for payment of minimum wages for a certain year, this Certificate is already enough to exempt the company from paying the salary differential for the same year. No need to apply for another exemption.

WARNING: Once you file, DOLE will conduct an inspection if necessary to verify the number of workers, nature of business and get other information within 5 working days of application receipt. It is still subject for approval.

5. Who are Qualified for the SSS 105-Days Maternity Leave Benefit?

Rights and Benefits of pregnant Women

If the female worker does not have enough qualifying contributions, she is NOT entitled to both SSS Maternity Benefit and Salary Differential Pay.

IMPORTANT: The female worker should have at least THREE (3) monthly SSS remittances in the twelve-month period immediately before the semester of contingency for childbirth, miscarriage or emergency termination of pregnancy. If you have inadequate number of hulogs, you are disqualified.

Three

If disqualified, you are referred to the PhilHealth Circular No. 022-2014 or the “Social Health Insurance Coverage and Benefits for Women About to Give Birth.”

Philhealth

NOTE: Payment of maternity benefit automatically disqualifies the member from availing of the sickness benefit from the same period.

6. What is the Semester of Contingency?

SSS looks at the Semester of Contingency for members to avail of Maternity, Disability, Sickness and Retirement Benefits. Philippines QA offers one of the better explanation on what exactly a Semester of Contingency means:

Semester of Contingency

Source: What is  SEMESTER OF CONTINGENCY? 

7. How do I Compute my SSS Maternity Benefit and Salary Differential using my Semester of Contingency?

Step 1: Check out if you are qualified based on your hulogs.

If you’re too lazy to compute it, just use this chart:

Compute Semester of Contingency

Check out your due date, see if you have paid at least 3 hulogs on the months highlighted in YELLOW. If you are, you’re qualified. If not, you’re not.

Step 2: Identify the Top 6 Hulogs You Made that Fell on the Qualifying Period. 

EDD

Step 3: Get the Average of the 6 Hulogs to See the Corresponding Monthly Salary Credit

Using the SSS Contribution Table of 2019, check out the corresponding Monthly Salary Credit for the top 6 hulogs. Since Php 2,400 is the maximum hulog, then the MSC of the staff is Php 20,000, the highest allocation.

Add all the top 6 and divide it by 180 to get the Daily Salary Credit. So for our example, the Daily Salary Credit is Php 20,000 x 6 / 180 = Php 666.67 per day.

SSS-Contribution-1

Step 4: Multiply the SSS Daily Salary Credit to Get the SSS Maternity Benefit

If your calculated average Daily Salary Credit is Php 666.67:

  • For live births, multiply Php 666.67 by 105 days = Php 70,000 SSS Maternity Benefit
  • For miscarriage, multiply Php 666.67 by 60 days = Php 40,000 SSS Miscarriage Benefit
  • If Solo Parent, multiply Php 666.67 by 120 days = Php 80,000 Maternity Benefit

Step 5: If you are employed, the Salary Differential is;

  • For Live Births: Full Pay x 3.5 months MINUS SSS Maternity Benefit
  • For Miscarriage: Full Pay x 2 months MINUS SSS Miscarriage Benefit

To Calculate Full pay: Actual Earnings including allowances provided under CBA if any

To Calculate Equivalent Monthly Rate: Daily Wage x Factor — 313 if 6 days work, 261 if 5 days work — divided by 12.

Hence, if you earn Php 30,000, the estimated maternity benefit is Php 105,000 (Computation: Php 30,000 x 3.5 months). Breakdown as follows:

  • Php 70,000: From the SSS Maternity Benefit which will be reimbursed to the employer
  • Less: Php 2,800 Employee Share of SSS Benefits (Php 800 x 3.5 months)
  • Less: Php 1,575.00 Employee Share of Philhealth Benefits (Php 450 x 3.5 months)
  • Less: Php 350.00 Employee Share of Benefits for Pag-Ibig  (Php 100 x 3.5 months)
  • Salary Differential Paid by Employer to Staff: Php 30,275.00

The amount that the Employee will get  is Php 105,000 minus Php 2,800 SSS minus Php 1,575 Philhealth and Php 350.00 Pag-Ibig = Php 100,275.00.

To make it simple, employees will usually not get any Salary Differential if they are earning Php 20,000 and below.

IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER:

  1. A company cannot deduct the Employee Share of Mandatory Benefits without written consent from the employee. Deduct the Employee share of Mandatory Benefits from Salary Differential, if any.
  2. Without Salary Differential, you can deduct it from the SSS Maternity Benefit with employee authorization. But SSS will only reimburse the amount on the voucher you have paid to the Employee. So if you deducted the EE share of Mandatory Benefits from the SSS Mat Ben, you will also get a reduced payment from SSS.
  3. The maximum money that SSS will pay is the computed SSS Maternity Benefit. So in this case, it’s Php 70,000.
  4. WARNING: In actuality, SSS will only reimburse the employer the SSS Maternity Benefit if the employer submits complete documents. There are cases that if kulang sa documents, SSS will not reimburse the employer even if the company has already paid the employee its full benefits.

8. My head is exploding with all the Calculations. Do you have an SSS Maternity Benefit Calculator to make my life simple?

Yes, I do!

calculator

I have developed a simple FINAL SSS Maternity Benefit 070420 to help people find out their Semester of Contingency and calculate their maternity benefits regardless of the year. It is downloadable for free, but must be checked out via the desktop. You can’t use it via the mobile phone until I next level my app development skills.

The only thing you need to do is input your information on the YELLOW boxes. The calculator will compute your estimated Maternity Benefit for you.

Download HERE: FINAL SSS Maternity Benefit 070420:

SSS Maternity Benefit Calculator

DISCLAIMER:  This online calculator is made available solely for the convenience of public. It follows the SSS schedule of contribution tables and is based on the author’s own interpretation. It provides calculations based on the information you provide. All data entered are not stored. It is suggested, however, to clear your browser cache after completing your transaction.

Should you find any inaccuracy, or have suggestions to improve this calculator, please PM me.

9. I am Qualified. Where Can I File for My SSS Maternity Benefit?

The SSS is clear — if you are employed, you have to file your MAT-1 with your Employer. It is then your employer who needs to submit the form to the SSS.

If you are paying voluntarily, you can file for your Maternity Benefit online or via the branch:

Type of Member

If you have been terminated from your work recently, if you are giving birth within 6 months of Termination, you still need a) A Certificate of Non-Advancement of SSS Maternity Leave Benefit and B) L-501 from your Employer. Beyond the 6-month timeline, you won’t need these documents anymore.

10. What do Employed Workers Need to Do to Avail of the Maternity Benefit? 

  1. The female worker must submit to the employer a MAT-1, informing the employer of the pregnancy and the Estimated Due Date (EDD) at least 30 days in advance.
  2. The employer should forward the MAT-1 to SSS for acknowledgment. They can do so online via the Employer’s my.SSS Facility or submit it to the branch.
  3. Employers should advance the full payment 30 days from the filing of maternity leave application.
  4. SSS should IMMEDIATELY reimburse the employer 100% of the maternity benefits advanced to the employer upon receipt of satisfactory and legal proof of payments.
  5. If the employer did not remit the required contributions they deducted from the employee, the employer shall pay SSS the maternity benefits the employee should have been entitled to.
  6. After the birth, the Employer should submit the Certificate of Live Birth that’s registered in the LCR or PSA to reimburse their MAT-2. The other requirements needed are as follows:

Requirements

NOTICE: It is the employee’s responsibility to give their SSS number to their employer. The deadline of payment is the last day of the month following the applicable month.

Reiterating: If the female employee goes AWOL, the Employer can still reimburse to the SSS by providing the following documents in combination below:

AWOL SSS
We understand that many employees choose to abandon their work without turnover after giving birth. Please ensure that the staff is cleared properly before her maternity leave, and you have complete documents in holding her accountable for certain documents if in case she does not return.

11. What are Females who are Not Employed but Have Enough SSS Hulogs?

IMPORTANT: If unemployed, there are no salary differential computed. Just the SSS maternity benefit.

  1. Those in the informal economy, OFWs, voluntary SSS members should inform the SSS of their application direct (RA No. 11210 IRR, Rule VI, Section 2). They can apply for the maternity benefit online via the SSS Mobile App using their existing user ID and password. For any issues regarding registration, email: onlineserviceassistance@sss.gov.ph.
  2. SSS will pay the female member directly. However, the Member has to submit the correct documents to be given their maternity benefit.

Requirements

WARNING: The SSS contributions must be remitted on time. 

  1. The member can pay monthly, quarterly or semi-annually based on the payment deadline.
  2. Payment deadline: The last day of the month following the applicable month or calendar quarter. For example: The July 2019 to September 2019 quarterly SSS contribution can be paid only until October 31, 2019.
  3. If the payment deadline falls in a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, you can still pay the next working day. Any late contribution payments will be applicable the following month.
  4. For advanced payments, only the contributions applicable for the month before the semester of contingency can be included in the maternity benefit calculation.
  5. No SSS contributions that are paid RETROACTIVELY (or pahabol) based on the deadline will be included in determining your eligibility for the maternity benefit. This is most important when the contingency date of payment is within or after the semester of contingency.

SOURCE: SSS Corporate Communications Department, July 2019

12. Why did SSS deny my claim for “overlapping benefits?”

Overlapping
If there’s an overlapping mat benefit claims (IRR, Rule VI, Sec. 7, Consecutive Pregnancies and Multiple Childbirths):

    1. If it’s one after another — One miscarriage after another, or followed by live childbirth — the female member will still be granted mat ben for two consecutive contingencies (RA. 11210 IRR, Part V, Section 6, Consecutive Pregnancies and Multiple Childbirth).
    2. However, the pay for the 2nd contingency is reduced by the amount of benefit corresponding to the period of overlap.

Consecutive

14. For voluntary members who need a bank account so SSS can transfer the money, which banks can accept SSS benefit payments?

Voluntary SSS members who are qualified for the Maternity Benefit can receive the money through:

a.   Their Bank Savings or Checking Account.
b.   For cash cards, please make sure that your cash card can receive more than Php 10,000 at a time, or the money will bounce back
c.    SSS UMID card as your ATM card, but you need first to activate your UMID card at Union Bank kiosks at SSS branches

For a., the following banks can receive such payments:

  • Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines
  • Asia United Bank (AUB)
  • Bank of Commerce (BCommerce)
  • Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
  • BDO Unibank Inc. formerly Banco de Oro Unibank Inc.
  • BDO Network Bank, formerly called One Network Bank
  • Century Savings Bank
  • China Banking Corp. (ChinaBank)
  • CityState Savings Bank Inc.
  • Country Builders Bank Inc.
  • Country Rural Bank of Taguig Inc.
  • CTBC Bank Corp. formerly Chinatrust Banking Corp.
  • Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP)
  • East West Bank
  • First Consolidated Bank
  • Guagua Rural Bank
  • Innovative Bank
  • Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank)
  • Maybank Philippines Inc.
  • Merchant Savings Bank
  • Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank)
  • Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCom)
  • Philippine Business Bank
  • Philippine National Bank (PNB)
  • Philippine Postal Savings Bank now Overseas Filipino Bank
  • Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank)
  • Philippine Trust Co. (Philtrust)
  • Philippine Veterans Bank (Veterans Bank)
  • PNB Savings Bank formerly Allied Banking Corp.
  • Postbank Savings Bank
  • Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC)
  • RCBC Savings Bank Inc.
  • Rural Bank of Pililla (Rizal) Inc.
  • Security Bank (SB)
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank)
  • United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB)

Thank you to PhilippinesQA.com for compiling the above-mentioned list.You’re the best!

13. Where Can I Conveniently Download All the Documents I Need to Apply for my Maternity Leave Benefit?

The source materials on the Expanded Maternity Benefit can be downloaded here:

You can download the relevant forms here:

BONUS QUESTION: How do I Contact SSS for Other Inquiries?

Did you know that you can notify SSS DAW of your pregnancy through text?

SSS Text

Or Message them through Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SSSPh/

SSS Hotline2SSS Hotline
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Posted in Business, covid-19, Employee Relations, entrepreneurship, How to Manage People, Human Resources (HR), Legal Talk, Lists, Philippines, Pregnancy, SSS, Philhealth or Pagibig, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HR Talk: Why Do We Need to Pick our Employers Well? And How to Compute for Retirement (And Separation Pay)

More than ever, an employee must take special care in finding an employer he/she would want to serve with. If I were an employee, the ECQ would have been an eye opener.

meme

Not only does it shed light to the type of lifestyle I am having — whether I’m too magastos or kuripot for my own good but it also tells me the type of employer that I currently have. From the ECQ alone, you would know if your employer is pamatagalan, or pang good time lang.

From the ECQ and the post ECQ, I can see if this employer is a ship I should latch myself on. For many people who are risk averse, working and staying for a stable company is something most people are comfortable are doing. Given that you would have to be dependent on your employer to sustain your livelihood, it is even more important to make the right choice on where to work in.

For example, you can really see from the ECQ if your employer truly loves its people. You can see how barat or generous they are to its staff. From the way they plan the ECQ, you can see whether your employer takes the long view, or have no clue what they’re really doing. You can also see if the company is financially stable, or is fueled by debt. Sa totoo lang, the ECQ was such an awesome learning experience. Both employer and employee can learn a lot from each other.

This is why Employees should Pick and Choose a Good Employer Post ECQ

This is the reason why its’ crucial that you pick a good employer.

Since you’re going to invest years into a company, and thus incurring opportunity costs in staying with that employer, might as well pick an employer na pamataggalan. 

logo-top

Stop job hopping at every chance you get just because there’s a better offer out there. If there’s anything that the ECQ has taught me, is that there is value to staying put at a job.

One, the ECQ was not kind to those who were newly hired. Take SBWS for example, if you just started in February 2020, chances are, you won’t be eligible for the SBWS grant. It’s not the fault of the company or the SSS. That’s still Php 16,000 na sayang just because you are new.

Two, many businesses gave more financial assistance to people who have stayed longer. Which by the way, is tama lang.

The biggest draw of bad luck during ECQ were people who were employed in Company A for decades. Since Company B gave them a better offer,  they moved to Company B in February or March. However, because they resigned, they did not get any separation pay. And when COVID-19 hit, they got nothing from DOLE CAMP or SBWS. And was first to be fired if some deep retrenchment is needed. So in the end, Company A saved a lot of money, while Company B did not have to pay them anything because they are probationary employees.

Whether You Can Reach Retirement Age in a Company is a Key Factor in Determining Where to Work

If you’re going to choose an employer, choose a company where you can see yourself serving for years, and retire. Employees are qualified for retirement once they reach a certain age and has served at least 5 years of service in that employer.

Retirement pay 3Source: Atty. Pol Sangalang, Updates on Labor Law and Jurisprudence

The condition for Retirement is Simple:

  1. If aged 60 to 64 years old, retirement is optional
  2. If aged 65 years old and above, retirement becomes compulsory
  3. Staff needs minimum of 5 years service to be entitled to Retirement Pay
  4. If there’s a favorable plan generated by CBA, then this is applied.

Here’s the RA 7641, An Art that Provides Retirement Pay to Qualified Private Employees in the Absence of any Retirement Plan:

RA 7641

Stay in a Company for as Long as You Can

There’s definitely a big difference in the amount of money a company has to pay for a if the Employee is Retrenched or Retired.

Let us assume 35-year old Joyce started at the company in 1995 for Php 8,000.00. She started as a mere rank-and-file employee, but through years and experience, she was promoted to Finance Manager and is now earning Php 40,000 a month.

Hand putting wooden cube block on blue background with word CAREER and copy space for your text. Business career planning growth to success concept

At the end of her 25th year, Joyce is now earning Php 40,000. She has proven her worth to her boss. By this time, Joyce is now 60 years old and based on her company’s policy, is now qualified for early retirement.

Check out how much Joyce is making if she’s retired after 25 years, vs. if she’s retrenched:

Retirement

There is a Php 362,619.80 payout difference if Joyce is retired, vs. if she’s retrenched, even if it’s both calculated using 25 years of service. No matter how you spin it, retirement pay is still at least 72.5% higher than retrenchment pay, due to the extra days paid per year of service. Joyce gets 72% more money from her employer if she’s retired, than if she’s retrenched.

Personally, I would never say no to money, especially if it’s Php 865,000 in today’s currency.

Couple this with the SSS pension that an employee can get, it’s very easy for employees to be insta-millionaires just by staying in one company. If you work for a company today, your salary today will still increase due to inflation. No matter how you spin it, that money you get during your retirement — assuming you’re working for a good employer who will not cheat you of this pay — can be huge. Definitely bigger than the Php 8,000 starting salary that Joyce had when she first started.

This is the reason why I always tell my staff to not quit — the money they will make sticking with me is better than the salary they will get jumping from one bad employer after another. Plus, long tenured employees get really really expensive. If you count it, the retirement pay is similar to getting almost a 14th month pay using the most current salary amount for every year of service!

Retirement Pay in the Philippines is 22.5 x Years of Service x Monthly Salary

Retirement Pay only counts the staff’s current year of salary in computation. In short, it does not matter how much was your salary when you first started. What matters is how much you earn today when you are retired:

Retirement2

To compute for the retirement pay, the information we need are the following:

  • Monthly Salary at the Time of Retirement:
  • Years of Service:

The law says, In the absence of a retirement plan… an employee upon reaching an age of 60 years or more, but not beyond 65 years which is hereby declared the compulsory retirement age, who has serviced at least 5 years in the said establishment, may retire… The retirement pay is equivalent to at least 1/2 month salary for every year of service, a fraction of at least 6 months being considered as one whole year.

This means if you served with increments of 1 month to 5 months, you round down. And if it’s increment of 6 months and up, you round up.

This means that if you’re in the company for 10 years and 2 months, that’s counted as 10 years. And if it’s 10 years and 6 months, that’s already counted as 11 years. Get it?

The longer you stay in a company, the higher the Retirement Pay. Since the factor is 22.5 days for every year of service, a Retired Staff gets almost a 14th month pay for every year of service. Not bad just for sticking by one employer.

Retirement

This is the jurisprudence on why it’s 22.5 days:Amount of RetirementThank you to Ms. Cristina Reclamado for the clarification. 🙂

If Joyce fights with her employer and voluntarily resigns, she gets ZERO. The same goes if Joyce steals from her employer. If she was caught and fired, Joyce will never get a single cent of retirement or separation pay if terminated due to Just Causes. This is the same no matter how long you have been with the company

zero

In summary, there is a difference in pay between the money you get for Retirement than if you got Retrenched, Resigned or if your contract ended.

pay Computation

Retirement or Separation Pay Calculator

Anyway, I’ve taken an Excel course the last week. And because I know a lot of you hate Math, I’ve done this simple Excel sheet to help readers compute for the Estimated Retirement or Separation Pay. You only need to input your 1) Reason for Termination, 2) Daily and Monthly Wages, and 3) No. Years and Months of Service and the calculator should do the work for you.

You can download the Excel below for free:

Retirement Pay Calculator

Download the Excel Here: Final Retirement Pay Calculator (TinainManila.com)

Mind you, I’ve only started tinkering with Excel recently so there may be some bugs or corrections needed on the sheet. If there’s any corrections, please let me know so I can make changes to the formula.

If anyone knows how to embed an Excel table onto WordPress, even better. I’ve tried Calconic but I can’t embed it. While I try my best, I’m just not good at IT.

Last Point — Pick an Employer Who Can Pay for your Separation/Retirement Pay

There are many employers right now who are trying not to get away with paying retirement or separation pay. “We already ran out of money,” they said. “We cannot afford to pay our people their separation pay.”  Or, “These people are agency hired staff. They are not our problem.”

Legally, both points are true:

  1. Bankrupt companies can maneuver their way from paying separation or retirement pay. 
  2. Agency hired employees are employed by the agency, not the Principal. And hence, any “pay” should be shouldered by the agency. 

Regardless, good employers should at least do their part in trying to pay what is right for their employees. Especially when the reason why they don’t want to pay — which is business losses —- are not really true, and all they want to do is save the expense from firing a staff.

Yes, bankrupt companies can escape from paying the full separation pay. Saan sila kukuha ng pera if wala na talaga? However, they cannot prevent the employees from going to DOLE or NLRC to air out their grievances. And in the end, if they lied about being bankrupt and the termination is in bad faith, then they will still be liable in paying a larger amount of money.

What’s more, while it is true that agency hired employees are not the Principal’s problem, this relationship has a lot of gray areas as well. For example, during Christmas, were the agency hired employees invited and participated in the raffle?

Christimas

Did anybody from the Principal provide them with a memo and disciplined them on the spot? If so, it may not be that the agency hired employees are truly agency hired, but the principal is violating DO-174.

The regular 10% fee the agency charges per payroll does not include the price for retrenchment. To be fair, companies have never retrenched in such a grand scale and never at the same time so there is no need for the agency to collect such fee. Historically, the money a principal gives to the agency only contains the agency fee, pro-rata 13th month pay, and the employer share of benefits, among others. Since most employees chose to resign out of their own free will, there is no need to pay them any separation pay. And for upcoming senior citizens, both the business and the agency can plan ahead for such expense years before. So, the financial cost is not a big problem for all parties.

This second half of 2020 is a special time where companies are retrenching or retiring large numbers of people. Given there’s too many people terminated at too short of time, both the companies and the agency will find it hard to pay the separation pay altogether, especially if the company has been in existence for more than 20 years. 

Personally, either you pay now…. or you pay later. Either way, you still pay.

If you don’t pay the correct separation or retirement pay, the employee will and should complain. This is an additional hassle that companies don’t want to have since they’re winding up a business. At the end of the day, if it’s proven that the company still has money and is not really bankrupt, the company and owner will eventually pay more. Not only do you have to pay for the separation pay, but you may also be liable for the 30-day notice period plus backwages, since the staff was illegally terminated on the guise of a retrenchment.

Save yourself the trouble — Use the Calculator if you want. Call your accountant or lawyer to double check the numbers. And once you have set the correct amount, pay for your peace of mind.

Retirement Pay Calculator
Download the Excel Here: Final Retirement Pay Calculator (TinainManila.com)
Calconic Calculator can be Found HERE

Yes, the amount may hurt you a little bit. And yes, it may put a big dent to the savings account. But at least you sleep better knowing wala kang kasalanan sa mundo, and you’ve fired people in good faith without trying to escape your responsibilities. Because at the end of the day, somebody WILL pay. And no matter how much we run away from our accountability, it will still be us. So better, pay now properly na lang para wala nang masabi, and wala nang problema.

no-money-empty-pockets

Happy weekend everyone!

disclaimer - Calculator

 

Posted in Ask Tina in Manila, Business, covid-19, Filipino Men/Women, Finance, How to Manage People, Human Resources (HR), money, Money Issues, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

HR Talk: 16 Common Questions Answered about Probationary Employment in the Philippines

Let’s Talk about Probationary Employment

I have been receiving a lot of questions from probationary employees who found their employment allegedly prematurely ended after the ECQ was lifted. Many have started less than 180 days ago, mostly from January 2020. After the lockdown, probationary employees found themselves unceremoniously unemployed by “heartless” employers who don’t seem to get that they have mouths to feed.

After they’ve been terminated, many of them go to HR forums to post the questions, “Is it right for them to end my employment at a time I need the job the most? Is it fair? And most importantly, is it legal?”

Before we answer these questions, you first have to understand what Probationary Employment means to both employers and employees, and why it’s important to have a probationary period before regularizing a staff. To proceed, here are the Top 15 Questions about Probationary Employment in the Philippines:

16 QuestionsLet’s dive into these questions one by one:

1. How do we define probationary employment?

Probationary employment is closely defined in the Labor Code, Book 6 – Post Employment, Article 281:

Article 281. Probationary employment. Probationary employment shall not exceed six (6) months form the date the employee started working, unless it is covered by an apprenticeship agreement stipulating a longer period. The services of an employee who has been engaged on a probationary basis may be terminated for a just cause or when he fails to qualify as a regular employee in accordance with reasonable standards made known by the employer to the employee at the time of his engagement. An employee who is allowed to work after a probationary period shall be considered a regular employee.

The IRR of the Labor Code also reiterates the temporary employment of a probationary employee:

Probationary IRRSource: JDP Consulting

From this, we can deduce three important takeaways:

          a. Probationary employment is a trial period where an employer is given time to decide whether the company wants the staff to join the company as a regular employee,

          b. Probationary employment should be 6 months or less, unless there’s a longer apprentice agreement. Exceeding the 180 days of employment will make the probationary staff a regular employees, and

         c. Probationary employees may be terminated for just causes (Their fault) or when he fails to qualify as a regular employee in accordance with reasonable standards made known to him from the beginning of his/her employment. If “bagsak” siya sa evaluation, employer has the right to terminate his/her employment within the probationary period. 

2. What does Probationary Employment Mean for the Employer?

Before a probationary employee is hired, it must be made very clear to the staff that he/she is coming in as a probationary employee, not a regular employee. The 6-months is his trial period, and he/she must meet the company standards first before he/she can be regularized. If he/she is bagsak, the employer can terminate his/her probationary at any time. For this, I strongly suggest to Employers:

  • Have your lawyer incorporate the terms of probationary employment into the employment contract para walang labuan ng usapan.

contract-of-employment-2

  • Make it very clear to the employee from Day 1 what the standards for regularization are.

Put these standards in writing and have the probationary employee sign it to ensure that it is clear what is expected from him.

If he’s a sales staff, make a written document to cite the sales quotas he is expected to reach. If he’s an office staff, set deadlines on the stuff that he has to submit per day, week or month. Before he starts, the Code of Conduct must be explained to him.

Huwag yung vocal advice lang. Dapat written.

  • If the probationary employment makes a boo boo — ALWAYS have a written documentation on that offense.

If he is often absent/late, always give him a written warning. ChanRobles.com cites that a staff can be cited as gross and habitually late if he’s late at least 10x a month for at least two months in a semester:



Source: ChanRobles.com

For our company, we make an incident report for every mistake and ask the staff to formally explain why such mistake happened. We file the NTE and explanation to their 201 for documentation. If she makes a calculating mistake causing the company to pay the wrong amount, document it in an NTE and ask for her explanation with an acknowledgment that she should not repeat it again.

Build up the documentation in such a way so that in case you terminate, you have a file load of documentation on why you had to terminate her.

It does not mean that you must give a person an incident report to show na iniinitan mo siya. The incident report must be in good faith and given when there’s an actual offense that occured. Dapat maging fair ka din.

I personally give NTEs because I want to show the staff where he did wrong, how he can improve, and how to prevent the mistakes from ever happening again. If the staff can correct his mistakes, why not regularize him, diba?

But how will the staff improve if you don’t tell him how to? That’s why everything must be documented — a) So the staff knows where he did wrong and b) To protect yourself from DOLE cases in case you terminate the staff. Huwag yung vocal warning lang. Dapat may written warning palagi.coach-employees

  • Regularly evaluate the employee in writing

Some people think that you need to evaluate them on the third or fifth month.

This is NOT TRUE. You can evaluate them at any time within the 180 days. Pag may problema, evaluate na agad.

I’ve had probationary staff who I’ve fired within the week. She was late on her first day. She did not show up on her third day because there was nobody to take care of her kids. And she was slow and made frequent mistake. I talked to her and told her that there was no way that she was going to get regularized if she kept up that level of performance. She then decided that her family was more important to her and graciously resigned, solving my problem.

  • Never mislead and give a good evaluation if the probationary employee is not that good.

So many problems could have been very solved if the manager was only honest to the probationary employee as to whether he/she would make a good addition to the team.If you don’t think he/she is a good fit to the organization, do NOT give her a good review.

Just rip off the bandaid and tell him/her what he/she needs to improve so they will.

  • This is not the time to be maawain (to be sympathetic). Be professional. Trabaho lang tayo.

Some employers fail to evaluate the staff because naawa sila that the probationary employee was a breadwinner, had half a dozen of kids, a single mom and pregnant.The problem is, you’re evaluating her for a job, NOT a charity. Judge the staff based on his/her performance, and not for their personal problems. Ironically, it is the awa and that lack of documentation that will bite you in the end.

  • Once it is time to terminate, collect all the written documentation and evaluation you have on the person, cite that in the Notice of Termination, and serve it to the person as humanely and compassionately as possible.

If all the offenses and boo boos have been documented, the sad news will not come as a surprise to the probationary employee.

  • Pay the probationary employee on time. The law says 30 days upon successful clearance.

3. Do we still need to prepare a written warning, memo, or notice to explain regarding the probationary employee’s poor performance before delivering to him the notice of early termination of his/her probationary contract with the company? Is it required?

written
As I mentioned in the earlier point, ALWAYS document offenses regardless of employee status. Don’t stick to verbal warnings. It will not hold up under scrutiny. Always assume that the company is at risk of a DOLE complaint. Always ensure that you have complete documentation so in case the staff will complain, siguradong talo ang staff because their complaint has no basis.

So why would the staff DOLE you if you have enough supporting documents?

The Philippines is unfortunately a pro-Labor country and DOLE will do its job to listen to employee complaints. However, if the complaint has no merit, the arbiter themselves will be the one to sermon the staff and the case will be thrown out the window.

However, having a case is a hassle in both ends. And while the employer will eventually win the case, it’s still a hassle to go through. So why invite yourself to that hassle and expense just because you lacked documentation? Always document your basis for termination para walang talagang problema.

4. How Many Days is a Probationary Employee on Trial Period?

6 months — specifically 180 days.

Under Article 281 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, probationary employment shall NOT exceed six (6) months from the date the employee started working, unless it is covered by an apprenticeship agreement stipulating a longer period. An employee who is allowed to work after a probationary period shall be considered a regular employee. I use this helpful date calculator to count 180 days:

Date Calculator
Do NOT go over the 180 days. Otherwise, the probationary staff is already a regular employee on his 181st day.

In a 2015 ruling, Enchanted Kingdom Inc vs. Verzo, GR No. 209559, December 9, 2015, the probationary employee was terminated on the 180th day. The Employer won this case as the law allowed termination of a probationary at the very last day of his probation period. Emphasizing that notice and hearing are not required in case a probationary is not retained for failure to comply with the reasonable standards set by his employer, the Supreme Court outright said:

” Whether or not Verzo was afforded the opportunity to explain his side is of no consequence.”

5. Can you fire the probation employee one month after you’ve employed her for poor job performance?

Thanks to Lawyers in the Philippines for the explanation —  The Supreme Court has sustained a dismissal only one month into the probationary period provided that there is basis for the employer’s assessment. [Canadian Opportunities Unlimited, Inc. vs. Dalangin, 2012]

Lesson Learned: If you’re given a chance to be a probationary employee, WORK HARD and PROVE YOUR WORTH. Come early, be focused, do the work and be someone the team wants to have. Because once you received the notice of poor performance, that’s it. You had 6 months to prove your work, but didn’t.

6. What does this mean for the probationary employee?

The conditions are clear — You are on trial period. It’s sink or swim. So within this 6 months period, you have to really deliver results, exhibit good working attitude, and work your way so that you will be regularized. If you can deliver, you will and SHOULD be regularized. If not, you will be terminated.

Sink

  • Conversion to permanent status shall be primarily conditioned and dependent upon satisfactory service and performance of the work assigned. It is within the exclusive discretion of the Company to determine whether or not such service is satisfactorily performed and whether the Employee has successfully passed/complied with established standards for regularization.
  • These standards, among others, include the following criteria: dependability, trustworthiness, efficiency, initiative, attitude towards work/the public/the Company, its officers and co-employees, cooperation, client response, judgment, punctuality, quality/quantity of work, educability, articulateness and professionalism.

The Company reserves its rights to terminate probationary employment, even prior to the expiration of the probationary period, for any of the just and authorized causes provided by the existing law or for the Employee having failed to satisfactorily meet and comply with the above-mentioned standards, conditions and requirements.

IMPORTANT: If you are unhappy with the terms of the contract, DO NOT ENTER INTO A PROBATIONARY EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT. Ask for a regular employment contract.

What’s most annoying to employers is a Probationary Employee who agreed to the terms of his/her employment, and then later on, pag bagsak sa evaluation and gets terminated, runs straight to DOLE and complains about the contract he/she willingly entered in the first place. Such employees are Kryptonite to employers.

7. What if the 180 days had lapsed without a “talk” or a Notice of Termination? They have not given me a Regularization Contract? What’s my status?

Congratulations, the Probationary Staff is now a regular employee! You don’t need a talk or regularization contract to say you are, because you now are!congrats

8. Can the Employer Extend Probationary Employment Beyond the 6 Months Period?

I will derive my answer from Mr. Sonnie Santos’ article about Probationary Employment. An employer can extend the probationary employment beyond the 6 months IF:

(1) It is covered by an apprenticeship agreement stipulating a longer period (Art 282); Buiser vs. Leogardo, Jr. G.R. No. L-63316 July 31, 1984

(2) Probationary period may be extended as an act of liberality to give an employee another chance if the latter failed to meet performance expectations:

For aught that appears of record, the extension of Dequila’s probation was ex gratia, an act of liberality on the part of his employer affording him a second chance to make good after having initially failed to prove his worth as an employee. Such an act cannot now unjustly be turned against said employer’s account to compel it to keep on its payroll one who could not perform according to its work standards. The law, surely, was never meant to produce such an inequitable result.

By voluntarily agreeing to an extension of the probationary period, Dequila (employee) in effect waived any benefit attaching to the completion of said period if he still failed to make the grade during the period of extension. The Court finds nothing in the law which by any fair interpretation prohibits such a waiver. And no public policy protecting the employee and the security of his tenure is served by prescribing voluntary agreements which, by reasonably extending the period of probation, actually improve and further a probationary employee’s prospects of demonstrating his fitness for regular employment. 

Source: Mariwasa Manufacturing, Inc. v. Leogardo, Jr., Dequila, G.R. No. 74246, 26 January 1989

(3) There is a condition that’s beyond the employees control that affects his performance (e.g., a health problem, miscarriage, giving birth or forced leave). Or a sudden negative or business climate that’s unexpected and considered force majeur.

9. How do you extend a Probationary Employment if You Want to Give an Employee a Second Chance If the Proby Employee Fails to Make the Cut?

IMPORTANT: A company should consider to extend a probationary employment if the staff requests for it and asks for a second chance, in the hopes of being regularized. Hence, it would be better if there’s a written request for extension made from his side.

To extend a probationary employment, it is important that the decision to extend must be agreed on BY BOTH COMPANY AND EMPLOYEE. The agreement must be:

a) Made BEFORE the expiration of the probationary period, not after,

b) Preferably done because the Probationary Employee requested for it. Hence, it would be better if there’s a written request for extension made from his side,

c) The agreement is clear the extension of probationary employment is only because the staff did not meet the standards for regularization within the 6 months, citing the failed results of the performance evaluation.

d) Given the request, management is giving the staff a SET TIME and a SECOND CHANCE to work and see if such decision would be reversed and changed. The terms for extension must be clear and time bound, and

e) The extension agreement must be also signed by the employee signalling his consent.

Here is a sample of how a Probationary Employment Extension Letter in Filipino looks like. Regardless, I would still prefer that the request comes from the staff so it’s cleaner and more proper.

How long can you extend a Probationary Employment?

The extended period has no legal limitations, but LegalGuide’s safe recommendation is 2-3 months max. Basta, not too long. Enough to show lang that you’re giving the probationary employee a chance to see if it’s a good fit.

In our company, I extend it for a total of 4 months only. Beyond the four months, we have to make the decision as to whether to regularize the probationary employee or to terminate his employment kasi hindi niya talaga kaya yung trabaho. The 4-months is mutually agreed on and is cited in the Extension.

10. Do Probationary Employees Get Severance Pay When Terminated?

Technically, a Probationary Employee when terminated is not entitled to Separation Pay if a) He was terminated for Just Causes (Meaning to say, ikaw ang may mali), orJust Causes

b) If the employee failed to satisfactorily meet and comply with the reasonable standards, conditions and requirements made known to him at the time of his engagement.

Fail

Pag bagsak ka sa evaluation, final pay lang.  So an employer needs to ensure he has the written evaluation to show that the employee has failed the reasonable requirements for regularization so that the company does not need to give final pay.

However, you will get Separation Pay if the reason of termination was Retrenchment or Redundancy.

Article 283 of the Labor Code states that:

Art. 283. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. — The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to the installation of labor saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice on the workers and the Ministry of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. In case of termination due to the installation of labor saving devices or redundancy, the worker affected thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at least his one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of establishment or under taking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses, the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered one (1) whole year.

The Labor Code indicates that all workers — Probationary or Regular Employees — are entitled to separation pay if they were terminated under the following conditions:

separation-pay

Separation pay is 1 MONTH OF PAY because minimum amount of separation pay is  1 month since probationary employees have not yet reached a year of service.

11. Will the Probationary Employee Gets Separation Pay When the Staff Resigns?

Unless your boss is super nice, you will get ZERO separation pay if the resignation was voluntary. This is not just for probationary employees. Even if you worked for 25 years, if you resign, your employer is NOT obliged to give you any separation pay UNLESS there was a prior agreement that they would give you one.

resignation

12. Can Probationary Employees Whose Employment Ended Avail of the SSS Involuntary Unemployment Benefits?

Short Answer — NO if you got terminated for Just Causes or for Failing the Reasonable Standards for Non-Regularization.

YES if you got terminated for Authorized Causes:img_2748

The SSS Involuntary Unemployment Program is the newest among the benefits being offered by SSS. This program allows qualified SSS members who are involuntarily separated from work to claim for a cash allowance equivalent to two times his average monthly salary credit. Here’s How to Apply:

10 Questions Answered Re: SSS Involuntary Separation Insurance Program Worth Up to Php 20,000 Max

The cash grant is worth 50% of the member’s average monthly salary credit (MSC) for two months. If you earn Php 14,000.00 or the minimum wage — meaning, your company has deposited Php 1,690.00 total per month — the Monthly Salary Credit is Php 14,000. The cash grant is worth 50% of the member’s average monthly salary credit (MSC), so following the table, you will get Php 7,000 per month. The program will last for only two months.

Php 14000

NOTE: If two or more compensable contingencies occurred within the same period, SSS will only pay the highest benefit from the recorded contingencies. They are given one year from the time of their separation to file for their benefit claim.

Member-applicant must have paid at least 36 monthly contributions.

IMPORTANT: 12 months of the 36 months should have been paid within the 18-month period prior to the month of involuntary separation.

13. Is the ECQ included in the 6-Month Probationary Period?

As explained in Labor Advisory No. 14 and Labor Advisory No. 14-A, Series of 2020:

Series

Labor 14-A

This means, the ECQ period is NOT counted in the probationary period of 6 months if you have temporarily stopped working. So if you started in January 2, 2020 and you were supposed to be regularized 180 days later, the ECQ period from March 17 to May 30 (2.5 months) for example is NOT counted IF you are at home resting.

It’s is only counted if you worked during the ECQ be it as a Work From Home (WFH) or skeletal force. If so, count the number of actual days you worked (or calendar days if non-stop) to see how many days in ECQ did you work.

14. I have enough documentation to terminate a Probationary Employee for failing the standards of regularization. What do I need to do next? 

The law is clear — the Employer do not need a notice or hearing to terminate a probationary employee who has failed due to poor work quality. However, you do need to provide a Written Notice of Termination to Terminate a Probationary Employee

A Written Notice of Termination is Crucial When Terminating a Probationary Employee 

According to Section 2, Rule 1, Book VI of the Implementing Rules, a written notice must be served to the employee, within reasonable time from the effective termination date IF the termination is brought about by the completion of a contract or phase, or by failure of an employee to meet the standards of the employer in the case of probationary employment. If there is no written notice, but only of a verbal inform that the probationary employment would be terminated, the dismissal will have no legal sanction. (Tamson’s Enterprises, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, Sy, G.R. No. 192881, 16 November 2011).

Source: Laborlaw.ph, Probationary Employment Contract Under Philippine Law

If the work of your probationary employee is found to be unsatisfactory, you’ll need to serve him a written notice of Termination of Probationary Employment. You can dismiss a probationary employee without notice or hearing because this is just a trial period. Just make sure that you have enough documentation to back up the decision on why he failed the standards for regularization.  The two notice rule does NOT apply if a probationary employee is dismissed for poor work quality.

If it’s under Just Causes, the twin notice rules should be followed. I will quote directly from the Philippine e-Legal Forum because they give a wonderful summary of the twin notice rule:

DUE PROCESS IN JUST CAUSES

There are two written notices that must be complied with in order for a dismissal, based on just cause, to be valid. Note that “valid dismissal” is used in a general context, as the failure to comply with the requirements of procedural due process does not make the dismissal “illegal,” but entitles the employee to the payment of damages (discussed in a separate post). It is also important to emphasize that the twin notices must be WRITTEN. A verbal notice is equivalent to no notice. 

(a) FIRST WRITTEN NOTICE. The first written notice should contain:

“Reasonable period” should be construed as a period of at least five (5) calendar days from receipt of the notice to give the employee an opportunity to study the accusation, consult or be represented by a lawyer or union officer, gather data and evidence, and decide on the defenses against the complaint.

(b) AMPLE OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD. After serving the first notice, the employer should afford the employee ample opportunity to be heard and to defend himself/herself with the assistance of his/her representative if he/she so desires, as provided in Article 299 (b) of the Labor Code, as amended. “Ample opportunity to be heard” means any meaningful opportunity (verbal or written) given to the employee to answer the charges against him/her and submit evidence in support of his/her defense, whether in a hearing, conference or some other fair, just and reasonable way. 

The old requirements specifically calls for a twin-notice and hearing. This has been revised because, based on jurisprudence, a hearing is merely a component of the right to be heard. A hearing is not required in all cases. A formal hearing or conference becomes mandatory only when:

(c) SECOND WRITTEN NOTICE. After determining that termination of employment is justified, the employer shall serve the employee a written notice of termination indicating that: 

The foregoing notices shall be served personally to the employee or to the employee’s last known address.

15. I am a Probationary Employee, x-Months Pregnant and was Terminated for Failing the Reasonable Standards for Regularization. Is it Legal for the Company to Terminate Me For Inhumane Reasons? Kawawa naman may new baby ako? How Will I Still get My SSS Maternity Benefit Claim?

If you are pregnant and was hired as a probationary employee, please DO NOT use your pregnancy as the reason why a company should regularize you.

pregnant

I personally don’t think that employees should use their Pregnancy, Gender, Age, Race, Family Problems or Health Condition as a reason on why an Employer should retain their employment IF they are truly unfit for the job or have failed the reasonable standards for regularization.

I have seen Pregnant Women who demand employers to give them a day off per 2 weeks because they needed to go for an OB appointment. Or they have asked their employer for special concessions given their delicate state. As a mother myself, I know how hard it is to get and stay pregnant. However, I have never used my pregnancy against my employer, nor have I ever given them a reason to sack me because pa-absent absent ako ng pabigla bigla sa trabaho due to a delicate pregnancy.

There are delicate pregnancies that require employees to have a Medical Leave of Absence as backed with an OB order. When this happens, stay at home and do months long of bedrest. For such conditions, care must be given to the mother. During this time, your LOA is NOT counted as part of your probationary employment.

However, if you are pregnant and this has caused you to slack off or not perform as well on the job, please do not fault your employer for not regularizing you because given the condition, hindi mo naman talaga magawa yung trabaho. 

Doon lang tayo sa Performance, shall we?

If you can do the job well and can outperform everyone else, you SHOULD be regularized regardless on whether you have a baby in your belly or not. If you are a recent graduate but can do the job of a 10 year experienced employee, you should be promoted and given higher pay. Doon lang tayo sa performance.

Please do not hostage your employer and they you should get VIP treatment because you are Pregnant, Old, Have more kids than your colleague or have more problems. When you were hired, the terms of employment was explained to you. It would be best to stick to such terms of employment when evaluating an employee. No matter what, always be professional and leave gracefully. Don’t burn bridges.

Resignation letter

As for the SSS Maternity Benefit?

If you were terminated by your employer for failing the reasonable standards for regularization, don’t fret. As part of your final pay, request as well from your employer a Certificate of Non Advancement of Maternity Benefit. You can use this document to apply for SSS Maternity Benefit as a voluntary member.

Download: Certificate of Non Advancement of SSS Maternity Benefit HERE:

Certificate of Non Advancement16. What will my Final Pay Consist of? 

According to Labor Advisory No. 6, Series of 2020, the Final Pay of Employees consists of:Final Pay
Note that separation pay will only be paid if the probationary employee is terminated for Authorized causes. For almost all Probationary Employee, Final Pay consists of:

Unpaid Wages + Pro-Rata 13th Month Pay – Liabilities = Final Pay

FINAL WORDS

I have read far too many posts lately of probationary employees complaining about their employers. Of businesses so cruel in quickly terminating their employment at the time they need a job the most. They ask what is the basis for their bosses to say that they’ve failed to make the grade of regularization. They take the rejection personally, and want to run to DOLE to complain at the next available opportunity.

Most of my readers know me as a reasonable person. If there is a clear abuse, I will not stop myself from telling the staff to run and escalate the problem to DOLE. However, most of the posts I read are mostly complaints against their former employers. The question I ask myself is, “Given that you have a lot of complaints against your employer and your boss, why are you still contesting your termination as if you want to be reinstated and given back your job? Now that you know what type of company/employer they are, why do you want to go back?”

For me, if the probationary staff is excellent — As in no lates, no absences, no work attitude problems, consistent and smooth work — the staff should indeed be regularized. Good people are hard to find, so for me, kung maayos ang tao, don’t fire them kung magaling sila. I-regularize mo na lang.

Personally, I feel that if the staff is excellent, laging may trabaho. If a staff works well, even if natanggal dahil proby status, mabilis pa din maghanap ng work. As they say, “If you’re really good, it’s the company’s loss. Not the staff.”

However, if the staff is nalalate, maraming excuse kung bakit pa-absent absent, does not double check the work and commits regular boo boos, then companies should man up and not regularize them. Huwag nang maawa. Just rip off the bandage.

The 6 months is a trial period for both employees and employers. Both sides must have their eyes wide open to decide if they’re a good fit for each other. If they are, continue the employment. If they’re not bagay, cut it off na. Huwag nang patagalin pa.

Simple lang naman — A probationary employee should work their ass off in the 6-month time given them. If they are good, great. They should be regularized. If they are bagsak, accept the truth and find another job that’s a better fit for you. And if you get rejection, cry at home and move on. Who knows? Maybe God has better plans for you.

Pero UNLESS there is abuse, huwag tumakbo sa DOLE. Because if you do, it will be even harder to find another job. Kasi parang ang labo kausap ang staff. They know from the onset that they’re entering into a probationary employment and have 6 months to prove that they are deserving of regularization. Pero for whatever reason, they did not make the cut. Ngayong natanggal kasi bagsak sa performance, magrereklamo.

What does that mean? Sino ang magulo? Ang employer or ang employee?

My advice?

Move on, find another job, and live another day.

A New Day Quotes www.mostphrases.blogspot.com

Take this as a positive experience na lang. One day, you will find the job that’s really right for you. And you will remember that it is this probationary experience that made you the person you are today, and you will thank me later on for stopping you from sabotaging your employment record, so that you can find a better job in the future.

Anyway, it’s late. If there’s any correction to the above, please PM me. Have a great week ahead!

Additional References:
LaborLaw.ph, Probationary Employment Contract Under Philippine Labor Law

Disclaimer

Posted in Advice, Business, covid-19, Employee Relations, entrepreneurship, Filipino Men/Women, Finance, Legal Talk, Philippines, Polarizing Opinion, Pregnancy, Question & Answer, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

HR Talk: SSS Members with Over 36 Hulogs Can Now Apply for the SSS Calamity Loan Program Online (Max: Php 20,000 Loan)

1. What is the SSS Calamity Loan Program (CLAP)?

The SSS has launched another awesome initiative to help members throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — the Calamity Loan Assistance Program (CLAP). Qualified applicants can borrow up to one month  of their Monthly Salary Credit and pay for it over 2 years + 3 month period at a cheap interest rate of 6% per year.

SSS Calamity

The best thing about the program is how easy it will be to apply for. For one, application will be online, and very minimal requirements are needed to avail of the money.

It is open to all Filipinos living in the Philippines. The program is open for 3 months from June 15, 2020 until September 14, 2020. An estimate number of 1.74 million people will benefit.

CLAP

2. How Much Money Can I Borrow from the SSS?

Short Answer: Your Average One Month MSC based on your hulog.

SSS computes the actual loan amount by getting the average of the loan applicant’s monthly Monthly Salary Credit (MSCs) over the last 12 months of employment. To check your average ONE-monthly salary credit (MSC), let’s look at the New SSS Contribution Table to see how much we can get.

See the red box — That’s how much you can borrow based on how much contributions you need to pay:

SSS-Contribution-1

Example, if you earn Php 14,000.00 or the minimum wage — meaning, your company has deposited Php 1,690.00 total per month — your Monthly Salary Credit is Php 14,000.

Php 14000

So why did they say the Calamity Loan is Php 20,000?

It depends on how much SSS contributions you are paying. You can loan up to Php 20,000 if you paid for the maximum contribution per month.

Take a look at the chart again — If your salary is Php 25,000 and your company deposits a higher Php 2,430.00 per month for your SSS benefits, you get the max Php 20,000 One-Monthly Salary Credit to borrow.  That’s why people who pay more can loan more.

Php 20,000

3. What are the Special Feature of the SSS’ COVID-19 CLAP vs. other SSS Loans?

Since the impact of COVID-19 is bigger than most other calamities, this version of CLAP has the following benefits:

a) Loan payment term of CLAP is 27 months instead of the usual 24 months. This version of SSS CLAP is inclusive of a 3-month moratorium period. “Moratorium” means that you do not have to pay for the first 3 months. The first payment will be on the 4th month which is great use for borrowers

b) Interest rate is at a lowered to 6% per year. SSS loan interest are usually 10% so this is a boon to borrowers. The interest charge will only start on the 4th month after your loan get approved. Interest would be computed “on a diminishing principal balance.”

c) Loan payment for COVID-19 calamity loans will begin in the fourth month from their approval dates. No advanced interest will be charged for the said loan.

d) The service fee of one percent of the loan amount is allegedly waived and will not be deducted in proceeds.

d) Very minimal requirements are needed to apply. Just complete the Online Application form, and if you’re qualified, you will get the money. Waaaaah!

excited

e) Here’s a disadvantage — If you do not remit your loan payments on time on the due date, you will be charged a 1% penalty per month. So pay on time. Yikes!

loan repayment

4. What are the Qualifications of Successful SSS Calamity Loan Applicants?

a) You must still be a non-delinquent SSS member.

b) Member beneficiaries must have at least 36 monthly contributions, six of which should be posted within the last 12 months before the application.

For example, if you want to loan today on June 16, you need to hulog your SSS contributions 6x from June 16, 2019 to June 16, 2020.

c)  You need to have a home or home address within the Philippines REGISTERED in the SSS database. Anyone living in the Philippines can apply since the entire country is in a state of calamity.

d) You have not been granted any final benefit such as total permanent disability or retirement, and

e) You have NO outstanding loans under the Loan Restructuring Program or previous CLAPs.

5. How to Apply for the SSS Calamity Loan Program?

Members must also be registered at the My.SSS web portal on the SSS website at www.sss.gov.ph to apply for the loan. If you’re not yet registered, go to your local SSS branch to register. This site offers a step-by-step guide on how to register in the SSS website.

Quick TIP: The best time to apply for the loan is at 3am in the morning especially in the first few hours of website launch.

Here’s the two things you will need to apply for CLAP:

  1. Completed Calamity Loan Assistance Program Form — These will be accessed online through the website http://www.sss.gov.ph. Go and log on under eServices to see Calamity Loan. This is the first time SSS will offer Calamity Loans through an online facility so be patient and prepare for bugs in the first few days of opening.

view-contribution-step-2Photo Source: Mattscradle.com

What it looks like now:

2. One (1) Primary ID or Two (2) Secondary IDs — Must have signature and at least one with photo

Ids

6. How long do I get my money after processing my SSS Calamity Loan? 

SSS salary loans take longer to process at around 2 to 3 weeks, whether you apply online or at an SSS branch. So you have to ensure you have enough money to tide you over before the loan proceeds arrive. I am unsure if it will be faster this time due to COVID-19 but 2-3 weeks is the average lead time to access the cash.

7. How will I receive my money? 

Three ways: 

a) ATM withdrawal through their Unified Multi-Purpose ID (UMID) card. You need to have your UMID card activated for ATM functionality.

b) Check sent to their preferred mailing address.

c) Citibank or Unionbank Quick Card. Though this site says that applicants only need to identify the bank account where the SSS can deposit the loan.

8. How Can I Pay for the Loan?

For self-employed or voluntary members, monthly installments can be remitted to any SSS branch or any accredited banks and payment centers. For loan payments, only SSS will accept individual loan payments.

Loan Payment

For individual members, you can get your Payment Reference Number (PRN) via the two methods:

• Text SSS Service (To register, text SSS REG <SS Number> <Date of Birth> and send to 2600. Note: Charges may apply.)

• Registering in the SSS website under the My.SSS. to generate a PRN online. To register, here’s a quick guide on how to register via My.SSS.

For employed members, SSS CLAP can be paid monthly via salary deduction. If employed, the employer should deduct the loan payment from the payroll and remit the loan amount on behalf of the staff.

Repayment
IMPORTANT #1: Do NOT delay payment as interest charged is 1% per month for any late payments. 

IMPORTANT #2: If the member quits his/her job, the employer should deduct the total remainder of the loan and remit it in FULL to the SSS.  

Responsibility

9. How Can I Inquire for More Information Re: SSS Loan?

For more questions, email member_relations@sss.gov.ph or go to their Facebook page: Philippine Social Security System @sssPH.

The loan will be applied for online and inquiries will also be answered for online.

10. Basis on SSS Calamity Loan Program:

IMG_3177IMG_3178IMG_3179IMG_3180

CORRECTION as of June 18:

Kahit na may salary loan, you can still apply for a SSS calamity loan so long as you have at least 36 monthly contributions, six of which should be posted within the last 12 months before the application. For example, if you want to loan today on June 16, you need to hulog your SSS contributions 6x from June 16, 2019 to June 16, 2020.

So pwede kang may salary loan + calamity loan na top up. Walang bawas sa salary loan mo yung calamity loan. Hiwalay yon. Yung may bawas, yung Pagibig Calamity Loan. NOT the SSS Calamity Loan.

NOTE: You will be disqualified for CLAP IF:

1. You already received your final benefit such as total permanent disability, pension or retirement, and

2. You have outstanding loans under the Loan Restructuring Program or previous CLAPs.

Approval is 2-3 days. No need for employer signature. This is direct approved by SSS. Check will be received 2-3 weeks.

Employee can pay for Calamity Loan direct to SSS para on time ang payment. Delayed payment incur 1% per month penalty on top of the 6% per year interest. Kaya dapat magbayad on time.

If may error, just log on again. This program is less than a week old so they are improving the system. Good luck.

References:

SSS Members Can Apply Online for Up to Php 20,000 in 2 Weeks, Filipino Times

 

 

Posted in covid-19, Employee Relations, entrepreneurship, Finance, money, Work | Tagged , , , , , | 25 Comments

Business Hack: Always Check the Breakdown (Version 2)

Problem 1: Requisition Request for Disinfecting Materials 

My relative is the Treasurer of the Condominium Board of Trustees, and has asked me to double check the replenishment report of the administrative secretary.

The administrative secretary asked for Php 30,339.50 to replenish some disinfecting supplies for the condominium. Here was her request:

Requisition Form

Let me give you a few minutes to look through the list.

What do you think of her request?  Kindly note that the list looks normal and contains all the materials required by the government for a condo building to have.

If you were the Treasurer, what would you do? Would you write a check for Php 30,339.50? Please scroll down below for my reply when you are done.

scroll down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Answer to Problem 1: Requisition Request for Disinfecting Materials 

After I looked through the list, here were my comments:

Requisition Form2

In particular, these were the ones that stood out from me. Based on my own research, these are the market prices of the following items:

Savings

For the PPE Suite, I would source it online or from this group. I bought our Tafetta PPE for Php 370.00 from an online seller named Liz. We are a small business so we do not need the hospital grade PPE. We only need two in case we have a suspected case in the office.

TafettaFor surgical masks, I know people who are selling at Php 650. However, some people are selling at Php 350 to Php 500 a box.

Maybe the Php 2,300 for a box of 3-ply surgical mask is most likely a typo. But if you’re requesting for money, always double check and triple check before you submit to the Members of the Board.

As for the pressure sprayer, I can get from Lazada, while the handwash and alcohol can be sourced at 3.5 Liters in NUDE Essentials.

Problem 2: The Association Dues Bill

Take a look at the Association Dues Bill that we received last year — At 88.47 + 12.5 sqm parking area = 100.96 sqm, with a rate of Php 108.33/sqm, the total is Php 17,950.26. Multiply the amount by Php 17,950.26 x 3 months, the total association dues now cost Php 53,850.64. Make sense?

Here’s the breakdown:

Assoc dues

After checking the numbers, will you ask your finance manager to issue the check by the due date? Is this a go?

Have a think. Please scroll down below for my reply when you are done.

scroll down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Answer to Problem 2: The Association Dues Bill

Please take out your calculator and punch the numbers on the bill.

calculator

Here’s my computation:

Assoc dues2

A word of warning — it does NOT mean that a bill is computerized, it is correct. As you can see, the billing was incorrect.

All the numbers are in order and printed well, but the computation is wrong. Anyone who has a calculator can compute the correct answer. However, most finance managers just look at the bill and issue a check, not knowing that they are paying Php 21,036.60 more per quarter or Php 7,012.20 per month.

Always Instill a Habit of Double Checking and Triple Checking Work

If you are running a business, always instill a habit in your people of double- and triple-checking the work. When my staff gave me the bills to pay, I used the above mentioned example as a learning exercise, which is why, they always double check the amounts before they submit it to me for reimbursal.

The numbers may be big or small, but when you’re running a business, every little bit counts. Always double check the details, so you won’t have to lose money unnecessarily without you knowing it.

Posted in Advice, Business, entrepreneurship, Finance, Life lessons, Philippines, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

HR Talk: 10 Questions Answered Re: SSS Involuntary Separation Insurance Program Worth Up to Php 20,000 Max

Today, GMW News Online published this article, creating a ruckus in the HR Field:

GMA News

Source: SSS members who lost jobs to receive up to P20,000 cash benefit, June 9, 2020

When the employees saw the Php 20,000 cash benefit, biglang lumaki ang mata ng mga tao. “Wow, ang laki!!!! Apply tayo!” 

Surprised

After the SBWS’ Php 16,000 (Max of NCR), workers are now super curious on how to avail of this wonderful program that gives them Php 20,000, especially now that so many people are being laid off or have resigned from their positions.

That’s why we are going to talk about this topic.

To be honest, gulat ako by how excited people are re: SSS Unemployment Benefit. Actually, matagal na ang SSS Unemployment Benefit na yan. The unemployment benefit, one of the landmark provisions of Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018, is the seventh benefit program of the SSS. Member-applicants may be granted a cash benefit equivalent to half of their average monthly salary credit (AMSC) for a maximum of 2 months.

Here’s 10 Questions Answered on How To Apply for the SSS Unemployment Benefit

How-to-Apply-for-SSS-Unemployment-Benefit-1280x720

1. What is the SSS Unemployment Program?

The Unemployment benefit program is the newest among the benefits being offered by SSS. This program allows qualified SSS members who are involuntarily separated from work to claim for a cash allowance equivalent to two times his average monthly salary credit. Beneficiaries include household employees and overseas Filipino workers.

unemployment

The purpose of the program is very noble, as the money will allow the SSS members some financial liberty during times of unemployment. The program is patterned with similar programs in Europe. The member can use the money:

  1. To find another job after they were involuntarily separated from work.
  2. To take up courses to improve themselves to find a better job.
  3. To use for their everyday needs.

For more details on the SSS Unemployment Benefits, see the Brochure Here.

2. How much Money Can Qualified Applicants Get for the Unemployed Benefit?

The cash grant is worth 50% of the member’s average monthly salary credit (MSC) for two months. See attached for how much you will get:

SSS-Contribution-1

Example, if you earn Php 14,000.00 or the minimum wage — meaning, your company has deposited Php 1,690.00 total per month — the Monthly Salary Credit is Php 14,000. The cash grant is worth 50% of the member’s average monthly salary credit (MSC), so following the table, you will get Php 7,000 per month. The program will last for only two months.

Php 14000

NOTE: If two or more compensable contingencies occurred within the same period, SSS will only pay the highest benefit from the recorded contingencies. They are given one year from the time of their separation to file for their benefit claim.

3. So why did they say the Unemployment Benefit is Php 20,000?

Take a look at the chart again — If you make Php 25,000 and your company deposits Php 2,430.00 per month for your SSS benefits, you get a max Php 20,000 Monthly Salary Credit.

Php 20,000

At 50% of Php 20,000, that’s Php 10,000 per month for two months.

peso-20200415

This is why you will get an Unemployment Benefit of Php 20,000 in total.

4. Who is Qualified for the Unemployment Benefit?

a. The applicant should be a member of SSS. If you’re not even part of SSS, you are NOT qualified. If you are a voluntary contributer, you are NOT qualified.

b. Member-applicant must have paid at least 36 monthly contributions.

IMPORTANT: 12 months of the 36 months should have been paid within the 18-month period prior to the month of involuntary separation.

c. There is an Age Requirement:

a. For everyone else, you must be 60 years old or below at the time of separation.
b. For racehorse jockeys, aged 55 years old and below.
c. For Underground and surface mine workers, age should be 50 years old and below.

d. You can only claim it once every three years from the date of involuntary separation.

e. You did NOT resign voluntarily. That’s why it’s called Involuntary Unemployed. Once you quit, you are NOT eligible for the program.

quitjob

f. You must have been fired due to the following AUTHORIZED causes:

g. You did not get laid off due to Just Causes. If so, you are NOT QUALIFIED for the Involuntary Separation Insurance Pay:

Just Causes

5. How much Total Budget is Allocated to the Involuntary Separation Insurance Program?

The SSS said that Php 178 million worth of benefits were released in 2019 under its unemployment benefit or involuntary separation insurance program, which is one of the key features of Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018 which took effect on March 5, 2019.

sss

As of December 2019, there is enough budget. In response to a query by Dominguez, SSS Senior Vice President and Chief Actuary Edgar Cruz said the SSS is ready, at the minimum, to provide P660 million for the unemployment benefits of affected SSS members, and up to P1.2 billion under a worst-case scenario.

The average unemployment benefit that qualified members receive is about P11,000.

Assuming that the 60,000 workers in the worst-case scenario will be dislocated and avail themselves of the benefit, this would amount to around P660 million, Cruz said.

If the computation is based on the maximum cash benefit of P20,000 per applicant, the total amount will reach P1.2 billion, he said.

Cruz said with the current cash position of the SSS at P21 billion, it can well afford to pay unemployment benefits, given that P660 million is just a fraction of the more than P16 billion that SSS paid monthly for members’ pensions in 2019.

6. What are the Chances of Me Being Approved?

Pretty high IF you are qualified.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said that out of 15,151 unemployment benefit applications in 2019, 14,895 were approved (98.31%). This translated to Php 178 million of benefit releases.

7. What are the Requirements to Apply for this Special Benefit?

Workers who are involuntarily separated from work need to secure the DOLE’s Certificate of Separation from Employment/Unemployment from the Department of Labor and Employment to avail of an unemployment insurance.

Applicants are required to submit to any SSS local branch or foreign office:

A. A DOLE-issued certification establishing the nature and date of involuntary separation

You can get them here — The electronic filing facility can be accessed through DOLE-NCR’s official website at https://ncr.dole.gov.ph or at https://tinyurl.com/dolencr-efiling. It takes them ONE WEEK to get back to you.

B. Notice of Termination from the employer or the Affidavit of Termination of Employment.

Here’s a sample of Affidavit ot Termination of Employment:

C. An original and photocopy of one primary ID card or document. If you don’t have a primary ID, any two ID cards/documents, both with signature and at least one with photo. Here’s a list of Primary IDs accepted by SSS:

primary ID

8. How do I get the DOLE Certification of Separation from Employment?

You need to secure the DOLE’s Certificate of Separation from Employment/ Unemployment from DOLE first to avail of an unemployment insurance. It is a primary requisite for the application for payment of unemployment insurance or involuntary separation benefit of the Social Security System (SSS). You can apply it from the DOLE Field/Provincial Office where the employer is located or where the employee resides.

Applicants must be able to present one (1) valid identification card (ID) and a copy of the Notice of Termination or a duly notarized Affidavit of Termination of Employment.

“For the issuance of this certification, the DOLE will do its best to observe the one day Process Cycle Time. The certification should be duly signed by the Head of the Field/Provincial Offices of the DOLE,” said DOLE-7 Regional Director Salome O. Siaton.

The issuance of the DOLE certification is pursuant to Department Circular No. 01-2019 or the Guidelines on the Issuance of DOLE Certification as a Requirement for Application for Payment of Unemployment Insurance or Involuntary Separation Benefit.

In the case of OFWs, they may file their application at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office where their employer operates or at the DOLE Field/Provincial Office where the OFW resides.

This is the labor advisory re: DOLE certification issuance:

9. How will I receive the Payment?

The benefit will be credited to the savings account under the member’s UMID card enrolled as ATM or Union Bank of Philippines (UBP) Quick Card.

UMID

If the member has no UMID card enrolled as ATM or UBP Quick Card, the member will be instructed by the branch to open or avail of the UBP Quick Card to have their benefit automatically credited to their savings account and can be availed thru UBP Kiosks in selected SSS branches nationwide.

Here’s how to apply for an SSS UMID ID.

10. Why does the SSS need a lot of requirements from me? Magbibigay na ng pera. Pahihirapan ka pa nila!

The toughest thing about living in the Philippines is that you’re already helping out your fellowmen, pero magrereklamo pa sila. Sila pa ang galit.

Look, the SSS Unemployment Benefit is ASSISTANCE given by the SSS to its qualified members. It’s NOT a loan. It’s FREE money that you don’t have to pay back IF YOU ARE QUALIFIED.

Kung hindi ka qualified, then naturally, you cannot avail of the benefit. If you did not have enough contributions, SSS is not obliged to give you a single cent because you’re not even a member of this program. When this happens, huwag nang magalit. Hindi kasalanan ng SSS na hindi kayo naghuhulog ng contributions.

Let this be a valuable lesson to everyone — Always ensure that if you’re employed, to be registered in SSS. Because there’s a lot of benefits you can get from the Social Security System Program which not only includes the Unemployment Benefits but the following:

SSS 1SSS 2

Good luck and please proceed to the nearest SSS branch for any more queries!

Sources: 
DOLE certificate needed for unemployment insurance, October 7, 2019
DOLE Guidelines on unemployment insurance certification out, August 6, 2019

Disclaimer

Posted in Business, covid-19, Employee Relations, entrepreneurship, Filipino Men/Women, Finance, Human Resources (HR), money, Money Issues, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), Philippines, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

REAL TALK: 10 Reasons Why Businesses are Closed in GCQ, and 5 Reasons Why Businesses SHOULD Open

The company I’m working with officially opened last June 1 (Monday) at the start of GCQ.

However, I noticed that while we were open, many businesses remained closed despite already being allowed by the government to open. See the scene in SM Megamall, one of the largest malls in the country. Despite retail shops already allowed to open and being charged rent, the stores still remain stubbornly closed.

Mega 3

Here’s a brief summary of this Topic:

SummaryLet’s go into it one by one.

Ten (10) Major Reasons why Businesses Remain Closed in GCQ:

There’s a lot of reasons why a business would remain closed.

From the Employee Side:

1. The Department of Transportation’s policy of banning public buses and jeeps on the street up until June 21, 2020 make it difficult for workers to commute to work.

Commowealth Avenue traffic MECQPhoto Source: Rappler

While shuttle buses are NOT a requirement for businesses to provide during the General Community Quarantine (GCQ), the limitation of public transport give people the excuse of not reporting to work.

2. Most workers are still enjoying the second tranche of the Small Business Wage Subsidy Program worth Php 8,000. If they still have money, they’re not in the rush to report back to work. Deadline is June 15 for the second give.

3. Workers do not feel the excitement of coming to work especially as many businesses did not provide them ANY AID during ECQ. So when their bosses asked them to report, many are not willing to return working for heartless bosses.

Biruin mo naman, for 2.5 months, ni isang ayuda binigay sa kanila. How do you think they would feel when the boss asks them to report? Will they show up or will they look for another employer.

4.  Workers who are 20 years old and below, seniors and pregnant women are disincentivized to leave their home quarantine. Here’s a mother and child who was turned away from the door yesterday. The biggest malls in the country do not allow people to bring their children to the mall out of respect of IATF rules.

Adult

5. There’s an irrational fear that COVID-19 is lethal and dangerous, and hence, many workers refuse to come in because “takot sila sa buhay nila.” Businesses also do not want to be liable if workers contract COVID-19. Presently, here’s the latest numbers from the Department of Health:

DOH

On the Employer’s Side:

6. Everyone is looking at one another for guidance to open. Nobody wants to be the first out the gate. So nobody wants to open and be the guinea pig.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

7. Businesses are worried that if they open, there won’t be enough sales to sustain operations due to the market slump. So they might be bleeding even more money while adding on the burden of paying the payroll. Hence, they remain closed despite the malls charging them the rent:

bleeding money

8. They cannot convince most of their staff to come in and report. Hence, the businesses are forced to stay closed until they get enough people to come in. This is a problem when an employee is under agency, and the principal conveniently forgot about them during ECQ.

9. Businesses are in the process of deeply retrenching. DOLE requires you to provide a 30-day notice period. If they open, they still have to pay the worker for coming in during the 30-day notice.

If the business is fully non-operational, they only need to pay for the final pay + separation pay. Tipid ka ng isang buwan na pasahod. 

10. Businesses are conserving cash in crisis time.They are not thinking about the Employees’ salary and how to sustain a family’s expenses. They just want to save on capital, and will not open until they are really forced to by their landlords or the government.

cash is king

My Personal Opinion: Businesses Must Open from GCQ to Stop the Economy from Falling Off a Cliff.

Businesses SHOULD Open to Avoid a Disastrous Recession

It’s very crucial that businesses open to prevent the Philippines to enter into a recession, if we are not yet there already. According to Fitch Solutions, “The Q120 (first quarter 2020) reading came in below our expectations, and as we flagged, we are becoming increasingly aware of how significant the impact of lockdown measures can be on growth readings. As such, with the Philippines in lockdown through April and into May, the drag on growth will pull the economy into recession.”

The research firm predicts a downturn due to quarantine rules and less external demand for 2Q20 to 3Q20.

Look, the government has already done its part by now lifting the quarantine to GCQ since June 1. The different government agencies has supported the labor market by giving DOLE CAMP and SBWS. Now, it is crucial that businesses open and do their part in making sure the economy runs again.

This most-businesses-are-closed scenario sincerely troubles me. It’s been a week and this is the state of one of the largest malls in Metro Manila:

While some businesses are open — ours included — many others remain closed. This is a big problem, as prolonged closure has long-standing impact to the Philippine economy, labor market and the consumer sentiment.

In April 2020 — Note this is April, NOT May or June 2020 — the Philippines posted a  17.7% unemployment rate due to the ECQ. This is disastrous as the number of 7.3 million Filipinos unemployed underestimates the true condition of the labor market.

unemployment rate

I sincerely believe that the situation is bad enough that for the first time in so many years, the usually pro-Labor DOLE has pre-empted the dire job market situation and asked businesses to scale down, adopt flexible-work arrangements, negotiate with workers a reduction of wages instead of closing down entirely.

DOLE: DON’T CLOSE. JUST SCALE DOWN

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) urged businesses to scale down and employ flexible working arrangements instead of closing to avoid the displacement of more workers.

“Kaya kinakausap namin yung mga businessmen, mga managers na wag naman kayo magsara, magsuspend na lang kayo. Para sa ganoon ay hindi mawalan ng trabaho yung workers,” DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Thursday during the Laging Handa briefing.

(We are talking to businessmen, managers not to close and instead just suspend operations. This way, workers will not lose their jobs.)

Bello said the agency recommended businesses to let half of their workers report for a week and the other half the following week so that they will not lose their jobs.

“Our focus is to maintain the employment of our workers. Maaaring mababawasan sila ng kita pero nandyan pa rin yung kanilang status as employees,” Bello said.

(Our focus is to maintain employment for our workers. Their income may be less but at least they retain their employment status.)

Bello said the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has so far displaced nearly 2.5-million workers nationwide.

The lockdown measures in several regions since mid-March shuttered most businesses, excluding those involved in basic necessities like food, medicine and health care.

But the government has slowly eased restrictions by allowing the partial resumption of businesses even in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine.

Here are Five (5) Major Reasons why Businesses Should Open:

1) Do it for your Employees. They need to eat.

When a business opens, then everyone gets to come in. Even with a reduced workweek, at the very least, people will get a salary for the days they come in.

The important thing to look at is PAYROLL PERIODS. 

For example, our payroll period is on March 11-25, payout is on April 6. Given that ECQ started on March 16-17, their salary was placed on hold all throughout ECQ. Instead of salary, the company gave conditional aid in April and cash advance in May to tide everyone over throughout the ECQ.

money

This ensured that everyone had enough money to survive all throughout the ECQ period. This also ensured that staff can have money immediately a few days after they return back to work.

When they came back, everyone received their salary on June 8 (As June 6 was a Saturday). This salary consisted of the March 11-25 cut-off, incentives, and what not, which is enough to tide them over the next cut-off.  On June 21, they will receive their pay for May 26 to June 10, which is more than enough to tide them over the next cut-off and more.

The problem is when people are only asked to report on June 22, when buses and jeeps are now allowed to run. If this happens, the next payroll will be on July 6. This is ONE MONTH more for employees to survive just on the second tranche on SBWS alone. By this time, the money is gone, and there’s no more extra money for pamasahe (Commute fare). Employees will suffer if they do not start working and earning money.

Hence, it’s crucial for employers to start giving people work so that employees do not need to suffer with zero income for a prolonged period of time. It is bad enough that during ECQ, people had zero income for 2.5 months. Now that it’s GCQ, people must now earn income so they can quickly return to their normal lives.

2) Do it for your Business. Your customers need to know you are alive so they can seek you out. Your employees know you’re in stable footing to work their best.

If you open, you have made a commitment to restart your operations, and are now fighting to survive. Even if sales are lower due to less people buying, at the very least, you’re signalling to everyone that you’re alive, and ready to rumble.

As businesses now have to start paying their rent and their people, you can motivate your staff to fight for their lives, to ensure maximum job retention.  Personally, I told everyone to do their best so that the business can survive and everyone will be gainfully employed. Thankfully, employees understand and everyone will do their part in ensuring that the ship floats.

sink or swim

You can’t swim if you don’t even go near the water. If you close, there’s no way to know how bad sales will be. There’s no way for employees to push, and as time goes on, it becomes increasingly easier to remain closed, as this status quo is easier to maintain.

You may justify closure with, “At least, I’m closed and losing less money than to open and lose even more money if I don’t sell.”

However, this thinking is terribly short term.

If all businesses think the same way, we are SCREWED. For the economy to survive, everyone MUST open.

If many businesses are open, more employees go back to work. If employees go back to work, then they have the money to buy things for themselves and their family, which fuels profits, and enables businesses to employ even more people and drive even more consumerism.

Retail groupsSource: Retail groups in Executive plea: Shops need to open to survive, Irish News

If you prolong the opening, you’re just encouraging uncertainty amongst management and your people. Your employers may think that the business is failing, which is why you’re not opening. Nobody wants to work for a sinking ship. Fear and anxiousness will win.  Opening signals to all stakeholders that the business is strong and ready to ramble. Do not let your fear rule your thoughts in a way that may be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

3) Despite what fear mongers are saying, it is actually “safe” for businesses to open. 

As I’ve mentioned repeatedly before, employers need not be afraid of opening in GCQ. For one, the government has issued very reasonable policies for companies to open as follows:

  1. Employers are not liable for employees when they contract COVID-19 if the staff has SSS and Philhealth coverage.
  2. Employers are not mandated to provide shuttle buses to employees in GCQ and MGCQ.
  3. Employers are not mandated to do mass testing for their employees (except in a few selected LGUs like Paranaque)
  4. Employers do not need to spend a lot of money to test their staff if they choose to do so. FDA approved testing kits cost on average Php 450 per pax.
  5. Employers can now operate provided they follow DTI and DOLE Health Guidelines in the Prevention of COVID-19.
  6. There is a reasonable safety protocol to follow in case someone is COVID-19 positive.
  7. Employers do not need to pay their staff if the staff does not work.
  8. Employers can put their staff on Flexible-Work Arrangements (FWA) following informing DOLE seven (7) days prior.
  9. Employers can legally put their staff on floating status for a limited number of months provided certain conditions are met.
  10. Employers CAN Legally Negotiate for Lower Wages and Wage-Related Benefits with Employees Upon Mutual Agreement for a Limited Time.
  11. Employers can legally terminate and lay-Off a staff for Just and Authorized Causes during ECQ, MECQ and GCQ.
  12. Employers can fully close their businesses without their employees’ consent so long as they follow due process.

The government has done its part by now lifting the quarantine to GCQ since June 1. The different government agencies has supported the labor market by giving DOLE CAMP and SBWS. Now, it is crucial that businesses do their part in opening to ensure that the economy does not fall into a cliff.

falling-off-the-cliff

The economy is hanging at a thread. It is crucial that every business, big or small, do their part in making sure that the economy recovers.

4) There’s no better time to open so you can plan ahead post-ECQ. You will Never Get the Answers Unless You Open.

If your staff is afraid of coming in to work, then so be it. Open operations, ask them to report to see if they’re in or out. If they don’t want to come in, start the due process so that you can find a replacement for them.

If you have uncooperative or pabigat staff, open now so you can retrench them, pay them their separation pay and send them off their way. This is the best time for businesses to lighten the load and come back leaner, stronger and wiser.

retrenchment

If your sales are not doing very well, find out as early as now so you can pivot in the hopes of finding a product that would make you money. A friend of mine was forced to close his massage parlor due to COVID-19, but is pivoting to another service business where his girls can now be hired to do basic tasks for people who do not want to go out of the house.

If your partners do not want to throw money into a losing money, this may be a great time to buy them out when price is cheap.

If your landlord is unreasonable, now is the best time to pre-term the contract and move to another office that’s smaller and more reasonably priced.

RC99 719 SqM PEZA Accredited Office Space for Rent in Cebu Busin

You can only do these ONCE you open. Before you open, everything’s just a plan in your head, and you won’t have the actual numbers to back up your studies on what to do to survive post-COVID-19 season. But if you open, you can see the actual situation and make better decisions than just jotting down ideas on the back of a tissue.

5) Businesses Should Do our Part and Take Responsibility in Making Sure the Economy Runs Back Again

So many companies are waiting and seeing if the government is giving them additional aid to motivate businesses to open. Presently, DTI has unveiled a low interest 0.5% loan for MSME to Medium Sized Business to help companies open. However, many businessmen feel that this is not enough.

The amount of Php 500,000 is way too small!” A businessman may complain. “I have 100 people. That Php 500,000 is not enough for my payroll.”

The biggest misunderstanding businesses may have with government is that businesses feel that the government SHOULD support them bounce back. They feel that given that COVID-19 was a black swan event, it is the government’s obligation to ensure businesses do not die.

Drawing of graph

To be fair, they have a basis for their cry for help. According to the National Statistics Office:

It is widely accepted that micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are a major driver of the Philippines economic growth. MSMEs accounted for up to 99.6 percent[1] of total enterprise and employ at least 62 percent1 of the Philippines workforces. MSMEs also contribute to a significant portion of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with 36 percent[2] of the total GDP. However, like many other MSMEs around the regions, MSMEs in the Philippines have difficulties in sustaining and growing their businesses.

Source: Asean.Org

According to Senate.Gov:

Sector Profile

I’m employed in a small business so I should know — Getting capital now is hard. We are barely getting by. The market is experiencing a big slump. And there’s too much uncertainty in the environment.

However, the wheel must start turning so that we can get the market cycle back up:

Healthy

One business cannot do it alone. Majority of the businesses must work together to restart the economy and lift it up to the point that it would seem that COVID-19’s ECQ was just a blimp in a bad dream. Now is not the time to think of capital preservation, but rather for businesses to work together so that we can boost the economy back to where it was where it was before.

Now is NOT The Time to Be Swapang 

Employees, please do your part in reporting to work when your Employer asks you to.

Let’s not be selfish and ask for hazard pay, shuttle services, or too many conditions just for the employer to get you to work.

For One, Hazard Pay is NOT MANDATORY for the private sector. Unemployment is in a rise, and if you lose your job, it’s not easy to find another job short term given that too many companies are freeze hiring and laying off people.

hazard

Huwag na tayong mapili sa trabaho. Gawin na lang ang ating makakaya to help our employers open so that the business will survive and everyone can have jobs.

To Employers,  please help the Employees get back in their feet by starting operations.

I know it’s a very uncertain market nowadays, but trying to preserve cash and stopping employees from working is doing nobody any favors. They and their family also need to eat, and they need the salary — albeit reduced hours — to survive.

Love your Employees.

You cannot say that you love your Employees and then tell them to stay at home and not work. That’s not loving your employees. To love your employees is to ensure that if they are GOOD WORKERS and are willing to work, to give them enough work so that their family can eat.

This is NOT charity by the way.

Charity is to give a hold out. To give them money that they do not deserve. What we are asking employers is to continue giving people jobs, even on a limited capacity. So that they can find their footing and walk ahead together.

back on feet

Let’s rip off the bandage and open our businesses. Because if we don’t do it now, then when will we do it? When our staff are starving and have no more money to report back to work?

Let us retrench if we need to do so. Let us make another strategy if that’s what we need. However, regardless on what you decide, it’s crucial that businesses decide to open together. Because while it may hurt us a little bit in the short term, it’s one way for us to WIN in the long-term and get ourselves out of this recession.

Are you game?

I am.

Please let me know if you’re opening soon. And if you’re not, why not?

Have a great week ahead!

 

 

 

Posted in Business, Current Events, Employee Relations, entrepreneurship, Finance, Human Resources (HR), Leadership Series, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Tale of Two Employees and a Valuable Lesson How to Talk to Your Employer

We began our operations last June 1 (Monday).

Given the 1-meter social distancing rule and the expected market slump, our staff had to work in shifts. This meant that while everyone was asked to report, everyone had to deduct one to two workdays from the regular work week to accommodate government regulations. Thankfully, our employees were all cooperative and despite the lack of public transportation, managed to report to work.

Only 10% of our work force did not manage to report.

This is the tale of two employees who managed the problem differently.

Both of them similarly lived far away from their workplace and would take a few hours of walking to get to work. Both cannot conveniently make it due to the lack of bus and jeep in the first week of June. This situation is valid. Currently, only the MRT/LRT, P2P buses, and tricycles are available, thus not many people can report back to work even if they wanted to:

sit down

However, the two employees managed the problem differently, resulting in two different results.

Employee A in Batangas tried to nicely talk to her supervisor about the issue.

Employee A lived in Batangas and was assigned in a popular shopping mall in Lipa. There’s not a lot of public transportation in the province, and it would take her almost two hours of walking to get to her place of work. Hence, she called her supervisor to explain the situation. Afterwards, she formalized her request by writing the following letter to the company:

pamasahe

The Request Letter to excuse her from work was matter-of-fact, apologetic, and informed management that her refusal to work is not due to stubbornness but rather because of the smaller number of public transportation, which is true.

Her request was then duly acknowledged and approved.

Meanwhile, Employee B refused to report and was antagonistic against the company.

First, she asked her mother to text the supervisor.

When the supervisor woke up, she saw the following text message on her phone. Allegedly, this was sent by the mother of Employee B:

good morning po mam.parents po ako ni XXXXXX XXXXX. sapilitan po b tlaga kayo magppsok…? at saka po hindi po kayo pwede magtanggal o mag awoll ng tao nyo at hindi rin po sya pwede magresign di po ba yan po ang nakasaad ngayon sa batas ng dole.kung sa tulong po na sinasabi nyo karapatan nyo po yon hindi po sya humingi sa inyo kusa nyo po yon binigay.nagpapasalamat po kmi dun… mam sana po nanunuod po kayo ng balita at sana po naintindihan nyo po lahat ng pinapatupad n batas.at kung magkasakit po ang anak ko sasagutin nyo po lahat.papapasukin ko po sya ngayon oras n may mangyari sa kanya kayo po ang mananagot.kc wala pong biyahe ngayon nilalakad nya lang po pauwi.dapat po kc may service po kayo sa mga tao nyo pwede po kayo mamilit ng tao n papasok kung yon po ang ginagawa nyo.sana po maintindihan nyo po ako.salamat po.

In English, it translated to Good morning Ma’m. I’m the mother of XXXXX XXXX. Are you forcing her to work? You know you cannot terminate people or allow them to resign based on DOLE Rules? Regarding the financial assistance you gave (during ECQ), you gave it freely. We thank you for the financial aid. Ma’m, I hope that you watch the news, and you can understand the law. If my daughter gets sick, you are liable for it. I will ask her to report now but if something happens to her, you will be responsible. Because there’s no public transport so she just walks to and from work. You need to provide shuttle service to force people to report to work. I hope that you understand where we are coming from.”

Imagine if you’re the supervisor and you woke up reading the following text. How would you feel? What would be your reaction? How would you handle it?

The first was confusion.

How is asking someone to report to work worthy of a toxic tirade that accuses the company of unfairly treating the staff. Underneath the many words too contained a threat that the mother will not be afraid to complain to DOLE if the company insists to ask the staff to report to work.

Readers of this blog know that as long as the company has followed all the DOLE DTI Health Guidelines, there is no issue in mandating the staff to work if needed. Given her work is critical, she can be asked to report. If she cannot report, the company can only follow due process to terminate her, which by the way is legal.

Right to unsafe work

The Employee B was issued a Return to Work Order (RTWO) and a Notice to Explain on why she did not show up in her assigned shift, causing the store to stay closed.

If she continues not to report to work, she will be then called next week for an administrative meeting and will most likely be terminated.

Why was Employee A effective, but Employee B was very unproductive in terms of their requests?

This is a tale of two employees.

Both cannot show up to work.

However, the result varies.

This serves as a valuable lesson on how to talk to management.

Here’s why Employee A got what she wanted but Employee B did not. 

1) Nakiusap ng maayos si Employee A. 

If you need something from your employer, ask nicely. Always remember that you get more with honey and vinegar. And given that you’re asking for approval, it will never hurt if you asked in a very respectful, kind, and humble way.

flies

Compared to Employee B, the first Employee talked directly to her supervisor, who manages her. She did not ask someone else who is not even employed in the company to speak on her behalf. If Employee B has a request, she needs to approach her manager personally, and not go through her mother.

She’s no longer 12 years old and an adult. The company will not deal with the parent because they are not the employee. The adult daughter is. The best way is to call the employer, make the request in a nice way, and see what they think.

mother

Do not be pushy and demanding especially if you want them to give you consideration. Because it is very well in the employer’s rights to insist you report to work because it’s already GCQ.

2) The accusations were unfair: The Employee was never forced to report to work.

She is merely asked to do so. Whether or not she follows is her decision. She can very well not show up, but it is also her employer’s right to follow due process to terminate her if she continues not to show.

Please note that the Employee also borrowed money from the company during the ECQ with the CONDITION that she has to report to work once operations resume. The fact that she is saying she’s being forced is unfair. Nobody forced her to get the money from the CA during ECQ. She should fulfill the agreement she made.

3) The Employee saw the Employer in a negative light even though this was grossly unfair. 

When she needed help, the Employee was super nice and asked for help. However, when it was time to report, she disregarded the agreement she made and twisted facts.

The financial assistance she received carried the CONDITION that she had to report to work after ECQ is lifted.

This was explained to her in Tagalog. She agreed to the conditions — if she did not report back to work and went AWOL, she would have to pay the financial assistance back. All this was handwritten and sent to management before the money was given. However, when it was time to collect and ensure she follows her responsibilities, the Employees twisted facts and made it seem as if she did not ask for help.

This is very negative to the Employer and shows that the staff has no word of honor.

Hindi marunong sumunod sa pinagusapan. 

If you are employed, treat your employer fairly. Not every company is the enemy. Out of all the staff, only this employee saw that she was inaapi even though she was not, and framed her accusations in a way that was negative for the employer.

Huwag ganyan. When you talk to your employer, ALWAYS REMAIN POSITIVE and do not fight with your employer.

positive vibes

4) The employee is making up rules as she goes along. She is quoting Labor Law because of what she heard on the news without understanding the policies.

This can be annoying to an employer who follows the law. If hindi ka sigurado sa batas, please do NOT quote the law.

If you’re going to quote the law, you better make sure that you know what the law is. The labor code is google-able, and the Labor Advisories are widely available in the DOLE website. Read and understand BEFORE you threaten your employer with legal action.

Readers of my blog will know that in GCQ, it is not mandatory for companies to offer shuttle services anymore, not like in MECQ where companies have to provide shuttle services to force staff to report to work. And no, DTI is not DOLE.

She cannot also hold the company liable if she gets sick because the company has followed all DOLE DOH Rules on the Prevention of COVID-19, and because she has SSS and Philhealth coverage.

Liability of Employers

5) Her use of words is aggressive and demotivates the reader from giving her what she wants.

If you’re going to make requests with management, please avoid the following toxic words as follows:

  • Dapat”  — This means “Obliged” or “Mandatory.” Unless the Labor Law says so, nothing is dapat. Use the words, “Sana mayroon po kayo,” which means “If you may…” The difference of words make a world of difference to the reader.
  • Kailangan” — This means “Need.” The employee does not need a shuttle. She WANTS a shuttle. This is a difference. Because a shuttle service is not mandated by law.
  • “Di po kayo pwede” — This means “You are not allowed.” In this case, companies should never ask their staff to resign. I agree with this 100%. The problem is, the supervisor NEVER asked the staff to resign. The staff wanted to resign, but somehow gave a different story to her mom.
  • “Sana po naintindihan nyo po lahat ng pinapatupad n batas…” — The assumption is, the employer is unschooled with the law. The employer is not. It is the employee’s mother who does not know the law. She bases what she knows on the local news, while the employer has ensured he read up on the labor code before asking people to report.

Never be passive aggressive to an employer. Or frame a request as an obligation that an employer has to give you, if it is very clear by the law that it is NOT.

The employer is not your family, a relative or a friend. You are being paid fairly for a service and you are bound to your contract. Respect the relationship and do not treat your employer as someone you can bully because “kawawa ka.”

Pity has nothing to do with this. Likewise, an employer SHOULD also pay the staff if the staff provided the service even though business is bad. There’s no such thing as the employee sympathizing with the employer and forgiving the latter from not paying the payroll on time because wala nang pera ang negosyo.

At the End of the Day

If you need something from somebody else, lower your ego and ask nicely. It does not cost a single cent to be respectful and humble.

Always follow due process. Do not use sympathy to get what you want. Stay professional and frame your request as no pressure on the employer’s part, giving them the freedom to decide on your favor.

Do not lose your temper.

angry-employee

Never lose your cool and make demands with your employer just to get what you want. Chances are, you won’t get what you want if you approach your employer with anger and unfair accusations.

Especially at this crisis time, give and take is of utmost importance. With so many employers terminating large groups of people, it is crucial that both employers and employee work together to survive this crisis.

MANILA, June 5 (Xinhua) — At least 7.3 million Filipinos lost their jobs in April as the unemployment rate in the Philippines rose to a record high 17.7 percent due to the economic slowdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Friday.

“This is a record high in the unemployment rate, reflecting the effects of COVID-19 economic shutdown to the Philippine labor market,” PSA Head Claire Dennis Mapa said in a virtual media briefing.

The unemployment rate in January 2020 was 5.3 percent while in April 2019, it was recorded at 5.1 percent.

“In terms of the magnitude, the number of unemployed persons increased by 5 million from 2.3 million in April 2019 to 7.3 million in April 2020,” Mapa said.

coronavirusSource: Rappler 

Gone are the days when employees have the upper hand. Now, everyone is just barely surviving.

So if you still have jobs, huwag maginarte and make sure that you cooperate with your employers so that you won’t get laid off due to bad economic numbers.

And if you’re an employer, be reasonable if the employee asks in a very nice and reasonable manner.

Have a great weekend ahead!

Disclaimer

 

Posted in Business, Conflicts, covid-19, Employee Relations, entrepreneurship, Filipino Men/Women, How to Manage People, Human Resources (HR), Philippines, Work | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Why is Social Business and Entrepreneurship the Next Big Thing by Dr. Sadia Kibria

Why are businesses failing?

Socialpreneurship is the next big thing. Where is the next life cycle in a business? What makes a brand livable?

Microsoft announced that they will be carbon negative by 2030. And by 2050, all the carbon emissions they gave since 1975 will be eliminated. They will use Microsoft technology for customers and suppliers to make the climate better.

A month later in February 2020, Amazon’s boss Jeff Bezos announced he will save the earth via Bezos Earth Fund.

In 2018, China announced that they will shift towards electric vehicles which will reduce oil dependency, and fine all cars that polluted . Within 48 hours, General Motors announced that they will make 20 models of electric vehicles by 2030.

Today, there’s solar cars are being researched on and introduced:

Look at Fortune 500 companies. The Fortune 500 companies from 1995, only 61 companies are alive. The rest are dead.

What went wrong? Why are brands dying?

Tiffany & Co was taken over by Louis Vuitton – because tourists are not buying their rings. The new generation are buying diamond rings that have some feelings attached to it.

Understand why you are doing something.

In 2019, 800 jewelry stores in the USA closed. 4% of the US demand for jewelries went down from 2018 to 2019.

Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy too. People were not having kids anymore.

Nike is moving from 14,000 retail partners to 40. They have now moved to e-commerce.

Crate & Barrel closed their children’s line.

Sears is closing down 150 stores in North America.

Nine West is closing their stores and moving to e-commerce.

Consumers are changing. You have to attach emotions to the brand.

Millenials has Taken Over Generation X

The global population is currently 8 billion. Millenials and post millenials are growing. They are taking over Generation X.

Generation Z are 4 years to 15 years —- 92% of millenials will support companies who support social causes and the environment. 68% will pick products with social benefit. 73% are willing to pay more for a meaningful brand.

If I want to spend money, we have to make sure that the brand is making the world better.

That’s why we should take these into account when designing brands and services. They want to know if the product is:

  1. Organic
  2. Fair trade
  3. Recyclables
  4. Living wage paid here
  5. Gender equality
  6. Carbon neutral

Stakeholders are people you have to consider.

Forever21 ignored the stakeholders. They brought affordable fast fashion to the world. However, the clothes were not of good quality. Many ended up in the landfill and started polluting society. They were not sourced rightly.

A sheep farm in New Zealand were brutally slaughtered. In London, a major protest happened asking Forever21 to stop buying wool from such farmers.

Forever21 closed down 351 globally.

This campaign actually did not work. While he did pledge USD 10 billion, that’s only 8% of his wealth. He also did not sign the Giving Pledge, which will donate half of your wealth so you can change people’s life.

Our Challenge

How can our brands survive, flourish in such a challenging environment?

David Packard, Co-Founder of HP said companies should not only work for profitability, but also to help solve the world’s problem.

Why are we here? Some know it. They call it their Unique Selling Point (USP).

Toms is an American shoe brand. He said that if you buy Toms, he will donate for every one pair bought. So it will donate USD 1 for every USD 3 pair of Toms sold. More than 93 million shoes are donated.

Toms announced that they will donate 1/3 of their profits on physical safety and mental health.

Patagonia focus on the environment and have a self-imposed 1% earth tax. They partner with Global Sport Activist to save the planet.

Action Plan

  1. Find out what your goal is.
  2. Partner with like minded.
  3. Be truthful to stakeholders.
  4. Customer’s bonding.
  5. Turn customer into fans so they will market your business: Loyal customers mean higher sales and profits.
  6. Prove that you care.

You only live once — they will remember the socialpreneur.

Posted in Business, entrepreneurship, First Experiences, marketing, Philippines, Work | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

HR Talk: How to Apply for Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA), Temporary Closure, Retrenchment and Permanent Closure

According to DOLE Labor Advisory No. 9, Series of 2020, Guidelines on the Implementation of Flexible Work Arrangements as Remedial Measure due to the Ongoing Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019, employers are encouraged to pursue flexible work arrangements so that companies can do social distancing, save cash flow and ensure continuity in case one of our employees tests positive.

Flexible work arrangements

For more details on how the FWA will proceed, I look into Labor Advisory No. 2, Series of 2009, Guidelines on the Adoption of Flexible Work Arrangements:

FWA

How to Apply for Flexible Work Arrangement, Temporary Closure, Retrench or Permanent Closure?

WARNING: Never do a Flexible Work Arrangement, Temporary Closure, Retrenchment or Permanent Closure WITHOUT informing DOLE first.

If you will be doing a Flexible Work Arrangement or Laying Off People, please ensure that you inform the DOLE Office closest you ASAP. Here’s the process:

  1. Accomplish the new RKS Form 5 Establishment Report form in two copies when filing a notice of: a) Flexible Work Arrangement; b) Temporary Closure; c) Retrenchment or Reduction of Workforce; or d) Permanent Closure.

IMPORTANT: For FWA, you have to inform ASAP. Prudently, it has to be SEVEN (7) days before you start your FWA. For Retrenchment or Permanent Closure, please inform DOLE and the staff 30 DAYS before their last day.

The report is considered as duly filed when the complete list of workers affected is made part of the submission. Fields with   asterisks (*) should be accomplished by the company representative.

  1. This form should be submitted to the DOLE Provincial/Field Office as soon as possible in the case of adoption of flexible work arrangement or temporary closure.

2.1. For establishments that will retrench or permanently close, the form should be submitted 30 days prior to the effectivity of termination.

  1. Page 1 should contain general information about the establishment and the number of workers affected.
  2. Page 3 should enumerate the names of workers affected, their addresses and contact numbers, position title and salary.

Total number of workers listed should equal the total number of workers affected as reported in this page.

DOLE has released a new RKS Form 5 Establishment Report last June 1, 2020. It looks like this:

RKS Form 1RKS Form 2RKS Form 3Download Form: Revised Establishment Report Form

For email addresses, here’s the details from the DOLE website:

DOLE-NCR FIELD OFFICES 

CAMANAVA Field Office (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela)

Address: 5/F Araneta Square Center, Monumento Circle, Caloocan City

Tel. No: (02) 8282-1842, (02) 8283-5044

Telefax: (02) 8367-3188

Email: dole_camanava@yahoo.com

 

Makati & Pasay Field Office

Address: 2/F, ECC Building, Sen Gil Puyat Avenue Extension, Makati City

Tel. No: (02) 8772-8210, (02) 8800-7211

Telefax: (02) 8800-7211, (02) 8336-5062

Email: dolencrmpfo@yahoo.com

 

Manila Field Office

Address: 4/F DY International Bldg., 1650 General Malvar corner San Marcelino, Malate, Manila

Tel. No: (02) 8244-1532, (02) 8244-1318

Telefax: (02) 5302-9269, (02) 5302-9270

Email: dolencr_wawd@yahoo.com

 

MUNTAPARLAS Field Office (Muntinlupa, Taguig, Parañaque, Las Piñas)

Address: 3/F No. 263 Valenzuela Building Alabang-Zapote Road Pamplona, Las Piñas City

Tel. No: (02) 8815-0086, (02) 8808-6165

Telefax: (02) 8808-0422

Email: mtplfo@yahoo.com

 

PAPAMAMARISAN Field Office (Pasig, Pateros, Mandaluyong, Marikina, San Juan)

Address: 4/F Rudgen Bldg. II, 317 Shaw. Blvd., Pasig City

Tel. No: (02) 8477-3630

Telefax: (02) 8534-3893

Email: papamamarisan@yahoo.com

 

Quezon City Field Office

Address: 4/F Arcadia Bldg. Quezon Avenue, Quezon City

Tel. No: (02) 8921-4973

Telefax: (02) 8376-5983

Email: dolencrqcfo@yahoo.com

(Updated as of 11 November 2019)

For other DOLE offices, please Google the DOLE branch closest you.

DEADLINES

There’s no deadline as of now, but please send ASAP. So far, DOLE is accepting all forms online. We have tried to submit in the head office but was turned away. They asked us to email the forms instead. Oh well.

Our office has also printed out and attached Labor Advisory No, 9, Series of 2020 on the visible place in the office as per instruction:

Labor Advisory No. 9 2

Labor Advisory No. 09

Retrenchments and Permanent Closure

For Retrenchments, the company must make sure they they follow proper procedure and inform DOLE and the staff 30 days before. Use this form again:RKS Form 1RKS Form 2RKS Form 3Download Form: Revised Establishment Report Form

If you’re going to do Retrenchment, please ensure that you have proof that the company is losing money. Hindi pwedeng laway lang na losing money ha.  

To reiterate, a company CAN and SHOULD terminate your employment for any Just and Authorized Causes as prescribed by the Labor Code so long as there’s really an offense and the company follows due process in firing you. Here are the difference between Just and Authorized Causes:

Just or Authorized Cause for Termination

In Tagalog:

Ngunit alam

You need to know WHY you were terminated. Both Just and Authorized Causes are allowed during ECQ under the following conditions:

  • Just Causes: There must be a valid offense, Twin notice rule and proper due process are followed.
  • Authorized Causes: Company has reported to DOLE that they will cut people, 30 days notice, and payment of severance pay.  Severance pay as follows:

Separation Pay

If you are terminated using the Just and Authorized Causes WITH PROPER DUE PROCESS, wala kang laban sa DOLE.

It’s very clear in Article 298, Authorized Causes of Termination —- For termination due to retrenchment or closure/cessation of operation its one month pay or 1/2 month pay for every year of service whichever is higher.

This is also mentioned in DO 174 series of 2015. The separation pay should never be less than 1 month pay which means 30 working days pay. Lastly, the same is stated in Workers Statutory Financial Benefits Handbook released by DOLE-BLC.

The half month pay per year of service (minimum of 1 month) if the Termination is caused by:

  • Retrenchment to prevent losses
  • Closure of an Establishment not due to Serious Losses (In other words, sinarado lang ang company), or
  • If the Employee is suffering from a disease not curable within the 6 month period.

Half month lang po yan. Hindi full month.

Separation pay may NOT be as big as you think.

So Sir Richard DeDios gave this calculation of the severance of a 22-month tenured employee:

“Ang 22 months is equivalent to 2 years tenure by virtue of the provision that a fraction of 6 months or more is considered 1 year.

Then said employee is only entitled to 1 month separation pay (1/2 per year of service x 2 years). The minimum 1 month applies to those with less than 1.5 years of tenure since they will only be entitled to 1/2 month pay if the entitlement is 1/2 month per year of service”

In short:

1 mo – 2 yrs 5 mos = 1 month pay

2 yrs 6 mos – 3 yrs 5 mos = 1.5 months pay

3 yrs 6 mos – 4 yrs 5 mos = 2 months pay

4 yrs 6 mos – 5 yrs 5 mos = 2.5 months pay

Thank you Sir Richard! ❤️

Full month per year of service naman if pinalitan ka ng machine, or they cut your position, or they can’t reinstate you to your previous position and it’s not the fault of you employer. Once again, here’s the table from NLRC:

Separation Pay

Under the Tax Code of the Philippines, separation fees and benefits in the Philippines are exempted from income tax, and consequently, withholding taxes on compensation for separations from employment because of death, sickness or other physical disability or any other causes beyond employee’s control.

While Retrenchment is a company prerogative, the addendum here is that The losses have to be PROVEN, and there is compliance with the Legal Procedure for Retrenchment:

Compliance with the Legal Procedure for Retrenchment

In order to legally retrench employees, the following must be followed:

(1) Retrenchment is undertaken to prevent losses, which are not merely de minimis, but substantial, serious, actual, and real, or if only expected, are reasonably imminent as perceived objectively and in good faith by the employer;

(2) The employer serves written notices both to the employees and the DOLE at least one month prior to the intended date of retrenchment;

(3) The employer pays the retrenched employees separation pay equivalent to one month pay or at least ½ month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher;

(4) The employer must use fair and reasonable criteria in ascertaining who would be dismissed and retained among the employees; and

(5) The retrenchment must be undertaken in good faith [Ariola v. Philex Mining Corporation (G.R. No. 147756, 09 August  2005)].

Do you get separation pay if you voluntarily resigned?

Unless your boss is super nice, you get ZERO separation pay if the resignation was voluntary. Even if you worked for 25 years, if you resign, your employer is NOT obliged to give you any separation pay UNLESS there was a prior agreement that they would give you one.

resignation

“Thus, the elementary rule is that an employee who voluntarily resigns from employment is not entitled to separation pay, except when it is stipulated in the employment contract or Collective Bargaining Agreement or based on established employer practice in the company.”

Payment of Separation Pay should be with Final Pay

If Retrenched or Made Redundant, add Separation Pay to the Final Pay.

FINAL PAY = Unpaid Wages + Pro-Rata 13th Month + Any Liabilities or Benefits promised if Any + Separation Pay if Any

Give this amount to the Employee in exchange for a Quitclaim and Signing of Voucher. Palitan yan para there’s no misunderstandings. No Quitclaim, no release of final pay.

Other Forms Available

Return to Work Establishment Report Form

Instructions

  1. Accomplish this form in two copies when filing a notice of return to work. The report is considered as duly filed when the complete list of workers affected is made part of the submission. Fields with  asterisks (*) should be accomplished by the company representative.
  1. Page 2 shall enumerate the list of the affected workers and their profile.
  2. This form should be submitted to the DOLE Provincial/Field Office as soon as possible. In the event of the implementation of FWA, TC, or retrenchment, the establishment shall accomplish and submit the RKS Form 5 2020.

RTW 1RTW 2

Downloadable: Return to Work Establishment Form

Work Accident Form

There’s several pages on this form. Please download the DOLE-BQF-WAIR-with-COVID_final here:

WAIR

Warning — You have to use the updated form to be considered filed and complete.

Warning

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Disclaimer

Posted in Business, Employee Relations, entrepreneurship, How to Manage People, Human Resources (HR), money, Philippines, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Business Talk: Which S.O.B. Are You?

A Millenial son of a successful tycoon shared his frustration on working in his father’s successful business.

business

The business has been there over the last 30 years, and has grown in size. Due to its age and the father’s management skills, the business churns out income from regular customers. Many of the staff has been working for the father from the very beginning, and are at least in their 40s.

After his graduation, the son worked in the family business. Having gone to excellent schools in Manila, he was bustling with ideas on how to “modernize” the company. He wanted to bring the operations to the digital age, and was excited on how to make business operations smoother and better.

Two years after, the son is still working in the family business but is frustrated that his father doesn’t really listen to his ideas. None of his ideas were executed. And his father’s people still follow the father’s instructions. If he wants them to do something, they would still double check with the father if they are to prioritize the son’s projects. Given this, the son is wondering whether he is banging his head on the wall. If his work in his father’s business is futile, maybe he should just work for somebody else OR do his own business.

frustration

Which S.O.B. Are You?

When he was relating his story, I thought there were some gaps to his story to the reality presented to him. For one, he was a newbie in his father’s business. So a little grass foot. At 2 years, a person still has not mastered how to run the business from top to bottom. If someone tries to insist his way without understanding the whole operations, it would be disastrous for everyone else.

To be successful in running a family business, you need to remove yourself from the position of SON OF BOSS (S.O.B. #1). Workers should not just follow you because of who your daddy or in-laws are, but rather because you’ve earned your wings and they want to work for you.

If you did not earn your right to manage yet, if you still continue to give unreasonable instructions, many disgruntled employees will call you a SON OF A BITCH (S.O.B. #2) behind your back.

DISCLAIMER: No offense to your mother ha. This is just a way employees talk and complain about a manager who they have to follow, but they think don’t know what he is doing.  This is what employees usually call people na nagmamagaling pero hindi naman magaling.

However, if you are a good manager, very hard working, fair and dependable, everyone — from the workers to your dad — would think of you as worthy to manage over them. Only then would you be the last SOB — the SUCCESSOR OF BOSS (S.O.B. #3), who everybody wants to be.

father and son

What are some Practical Tips to be from Son of Boss (SOB # 1) to Successor of Boss (SOB # 3)? 

1. Earn Respect First

Show parents your worth. Ideas are nothing without proper execution. Don’t just nag them. Do something to make your ideas real. Diskarte lang.

For example, I wanted to “do something” for my inlaws. So I segway. Their business is at 25 years old at that time, and they are still using an outdated inventory program. I know a friend who did coding, but he charged Php 70,0000 to Php 100,000 for it. I knew that price was reasonable, but how can I get my in-laws to upgrade and pay that amount of money?

I went through my husband’s business. My husband‘s business is 12 years old and still used Excel as his inventory system. 12 years na, no system pa din.

Instead of yakking at everyone, I “gifted” my husband’s business the inventory system for birthday and Christmas. Out of my own money.

program

When he saw how well it worked, I made sure I plugged that idea in into our dinner time conversation. I showed my excitement on how the program worked.

When my Parents-in-Law system died, they called me up. “Tina, do you still have the contact of the programmer you used for (Husband Name’s) system?”

I happily helped and made sure the system was done in a very smooth way. When their people and them saw how stable it was and how well it worked, my parents-in-law was happy. I was able to solve their problem without yakking about it unnecessarily.

Now, they always ask me for help and advice. They know that I’m capable of providing solutions when they need it. Ganoon lang ang pa impress kay big Boss. Hanap lang ng diskarte.

Everyone wins.

2. Show the subordinates your worth.

Do not just be the SOB (Son of boss). Prove yourself worthy as the successor of boss.

How?

By being the go-to person who’s hands on in business. As in, pag nawala ka, patay na sila. If you are dispensable, then you have to pivot and be indispensable.

Earning respect of subordinates is also key.

Pinoys call it pakikisama. The biggest lesson I learned working in the Philippines is you need to know how to talk to people to get them to do what you want. If you order them around, you’re just the SOB. But if you are firm but fair, magaling pero humble, you become the Successor of Boss.

If you mentor them and help them do their job better AND GIVE RESULTS, they will see you as a leader. Otherwise, you’re just talk.

3. Prove yourself to be worthy to yourself.

You have to be honest with yourself. Are you really worthy to be the successor of a business? Did you earn your wings to manage the family’s business operations?

Ask yourself very honesty, so far, what’s your contribution to the business? Are there any improvement ? Did you help change the business? May results ba? Yes, I know it’s hard, but that’s our job, to make the business better.

Self reflection time: Only be judgmental if you’re the hardest working person in the busines. I work longer, do more stuff, and solve more problems. I don’t order my staff around; they see me doing it myself.

Last August 2019, I miscarried. After my D&C, I still went to work the day after. Upon seeing me in the office, my people forced me to go on maternity leave. Pinauwi nila ako. They asked me to go home. And they refused to move and work unless I go home because I needed the rest. One supervisor cried begging me to go home. Honestly, I was very touched.

miscarry

My point is, dapat ang reputation mo, pinakamasipag ka.

You have to make the business your heart, mind and soul. You have to bear responsibility for your employees and their families. You have to really see that the business is the extension of you, and you cannot live without the business.

The business is more than a job. If you’re just like a Millenial 20 something who thinks this is just a job, it won’t work. You can’t half heart a family business.

Think of the business as a ship, and the owner the captain who steers it. All of the employees depend on the captain to steer the business to the right direction. Their families and livelihood is at stake.

captain

Don’t blame the company if it’s not growing. It’s the father’s job to the best of his ability. It’s the son’s job to ensure it grows to the best of his ability.

As heir apparent, we should think of ways to make the business grow. Make sure everyone thinks that you’re so awesome, you become the second in command without anyone saying anything.

So prove your worth first.

The rest should follow.

Posted in Advice, Business, children, Dad's Advice, Employee Relations, entrepreneurship, Filipino Men/Women, Finance, Human Resources (HR), Kid Problems, Life lessons, Lists, Philippines, Relationships, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments