In light of the enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) recently issued the following advisories:

  • Labor Advisory No. 13, Series of 2020, entitled "Payment of Wages for the Regular Holidays on April 9 and 10, 2020 and Special Day on April 11, 2020" (LA 13-20);

  • Labor Advisory No. 13-A, Series of 2020, entitled "Deferment of Payment of Holiday Pay for the April 2020 Holidays" (LA 13-A-20); and

  • Labor Advisory No. 14, Series of 2020, entitled "Clarification on the Non-Inclusion of the One-Month Enhanced Community Quarantine Period on the Six-Month Probationary Period" (LA 14-20).

Holiday Wages for 9 to 11 April 2020

Payment of holiday wages

LA 13-20 provides for the following rules on the computation of wages for the holidays on 9 to 11 April 2020:

April 9 (Araw ng Kagitingan and Holy Thursday) - Regular Holiday

Conditions Computation
Unworked, provided the employee was present or on leave with pay on the workday prior to the start of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on 17 March 2020 (Basic wage + COLA) x 200%
Worked (Basic wage + COLA) x 300%
Additional pay for work done in excess of 8 hours (Hourly rate of the basic wage) x
(number of hours worked) x 300% x 130%
Worked, and falls on the rest day of the employee [(Basic wage + COLA) x 300%] +
[(basic wage x 300%) x 30%]
Additional pay for work done in excess of 8 hours, and falls on the employee's rest day (Hourly rate of the basic wage) x
(number of hours worked) x 300% x 130% x 130%

April 10 (Good Friday) - Regular Holiday

Conditions Computation
Unworked, provided the employee was present or on leave with pay on the workday prior to the start of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on 17 March 2020 (Basic wage + COLA)
Worked (Basic wage + COLA) x 200%
Additional pay for work done in excess of 8 hours (Hourly rate of the basic wage) x
(number of hours worked) x 200% x 130%
Worked, and falls on the rest day of the employee [(Basic wage + COLA) x 200%] +
[(basic wage x 200%) x 30%]
Additional pay for work done in excess of 8 hours, and falls on the employee's rest day (Hourly rate of the basic wage) x
(number of hours worked) x 200% x 130% x 130%

April 11 - Special (Non-Working) Day

Conditions Computation
Unworked "No work, no pay" principle applies unless there is a favorable company policy, practice, or collective bargaining agreement granting payment on a special day
Worked (Basic wage x 130%) + COLA
Additional pay for work done in excess of 8 hours (Hourly rate of the basic wage) x
(number of hours worked) x 130% x 130%
Worked, and falls on the rest day of the employee (Basic wage x 150%) + COLA
Additional pay for work done in excess of 8 hours, and falls on the employee's rest day (Hourly rate of the basic wage) x
(number of hours worked) x 150% x 130%

Deferment of and exemptions to payment of holiday wages

Under LA 13-A-20, the payment of the above holiday wages may be deferred until such time that the present emergency situation has abated and the operations of the employer have normalized.

Further, establishments which have totally closed or ceased operations during the ECQ are exempted from paying the holiday wages set forth under LA 13-20.

Probationary period of employees in light of the ECQ

Under LA 14-20, the one-month ECQ period1 should be excluded for purposes of counting the six-month probationary period of all employees in the private sector.

Conclusion

All employers should be guided by and comply with the rules prescribed by the DOLE. Nevertheless, the DOLE should provide further clarification on the following:

  • Whether the reference to "establishments which have totally closed or ceased operations during the ECQ" pertains only to those establishments who have submitted Establishment Termination Reports regarding their permanent closure or cessation of operations, or also establishments that have temporarily closed or suspended operations during the ECQ period.

  • Whether the six-month probationary period should still run for employees who continue to report to work (i.e., because they are working from home or working at establishments that are allowed to operate even during the ECQ) considering that the performance of these employees may still be evaluated by the employers.

Finally, while employers are allowed to defer payment of the holiday wages in view of the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, employers are nevertheless highly encouraged to pay such wages on time, if so capable.


1 From 12:00 a.m. of 17 March 2020 up to 12:00 a.m. of 13 April 2020.

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