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Navigating HR Compliance in the Philippines with Sprout Solutions

HR Compliance

Ensuring HR compliance is essential for Philippine employers to effectively navigate ever-changing laws and regulations, protecting them from risks and ensuring adherence to rules. However, despite its importance, many companies overlook compliance, putting themselves at risk of fines and damage to their reputation.

To maintain compliance, it’s crucial to have a firm grasp of current labor laws and industry regulations. In this article, we delve into the directives enforced by Philippine government agencies and provide actionable insights on how you can ensure seamless HR compliance for your organization.

How to Ensure HR Compliance

Understand Employee Rights

Understanding your workforce’s rights is essential when managing employees. Here’s a concise overview of the rights outlined by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)’s Bureau of Working Conditions for Filipino employees:

  1. The Philippine government must protect labor, encourage full employment, offer equal work opportunities to everyone regardless of gender, race, or creed, and oversee employee-employer relationships.
  2. As an employer, you must ensure job security for your regular employees.
  3. Your organization must pay employees for all hours worked.
  4. A 24-hour day off or rest day must be set after six consecutive working days.
  5. Wages, the amount you give your employees for their work, can be set at specific rates for a given period.
  6. You can pay employees in cash or legal tender or remit their wages to a bank. Payments must be scheduled at least once every two weeks or twice a month at intervals not exceeding 16 days.
  7. Female employees can work at night if they perform industrial, commercial, or agricultural activities.
  8. Qualified PWDs must be given equal employment opportunities and, when hired, managed the same way as their able-bodied colleagues.
  9. Discrimination against job applicants with identified or perceived mental health conditions is discouraged.
  10. Individuals must be at least 15 years old to start working (under their parent or guardian’s supervision).
  11. Your company must protect its workforce from injury, sickness, and death through a safe and healthy work environment.
  12. New and current employees can form or join a legitimate union and participate in collective bargaining for proper conditions of employment.

Ensure Fair Compensation

In the Philippines, employee salaries typically consist of various pay rates and benefits, including:

Minimum Wage

The National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) determines the minimum wage rate for each region in the Philippines.

How much is the minimum wage in Manila?

The National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) has set the minimum wage in Manila to between ₱573 and ₱610. Plantation and non-plantation workers receive ₱573, while non-agricultural employees receive ₱610.

Mandatory Contributions

Employers are required to remit contributions to the Social Security System (SSS), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF/Pag-IBIG), and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). Currently, the SSS contribution rate is set at 14%, with the employer’s share at 9.5% and the employee’s share at 4.5%.

Pag-IBIG contributions vary based on income, with employees earning ₱1,500 and below contributing 1% and those earning over ₱1,500 contributing 2%, while the employer’s share is fixed at 2%. PhilHealth has increased its contribution rate to 5% in 2024.

Monetary Benefits

Employers can also provide additional monetary benefits to employees. For instance, private employees with fixed pay and at least 30 days of work rendered are entitled to receive a 13th-month pay every December.

Other monetary benefits include overtime pay for those working over eight hours and premium pay for employees working on official holidays or rest days.

Familiarize Yourself with Leave Policies

In the Philippines, employees have both mandatory and voluntary leave options available when needed. Mandatory leaves include Service Incentive Leaves (SIL), with five leave credits provided annually. Unused SIL can be converted to cash by the end of the current year.

Additionally, some employers offer mandatory leaves such as sick, vacation, and bereavement leaves. The duration of these leaves varies depending on individual employee circumstances, except for bereavement leaves, which typically have a fixed 10-day period.

Fulfill Tax Obligations

When it comes to taxes, employers registered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) are required to fulfill income and withholding tax responsibilities.

Income taxes are paid by submitting an Income Tax Return (ITR). For organizations following the regular income tax rate, BIR Form 1702-RT is necessary. This form should be filed on or before the 15th day of the fourth month following the end of the taxable year.

Withholding taxes require the submission of Form 2316 for employees receiving salaries and other forms of payment. This document should detail each employee’s earnings and the taxes withheld throughout the calendar year.

Duplicate copies of Form 2316, along with a certified list of qualified employees, must be submitted before February 28 annually

Uphold Workplace Safety

In the Philippines, employers are obligated to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for their employees under Republic Act No. 11058, also known as the Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) Law.

To comply with this law, employers must:

  • Classify their company as low, medium, or high-risk based on workplace hazards.
  • Appoint one or more safety officers to oversee and enforce safe working conditions.
  • Conduct mandatory OSH seminars for workers, which the safety officer or a DOLE-accredited OSH practitioner can facilitate.
  • Develop OSH programs utilizing a template provided by DOLE, and submit it to the appropriate regional office.
  • Submit various OSH reports to DOLE, including:
    • the Employer’s Work Accident/Injury Report (WAIR)
    • Annual Work Accident/Injury Exposure Data Report (AEDR)
    • Annual Medical Report (AMR)
    • OSH Committee Report or meeting minutes

Ensure HR Compliance for Your Business in the Philippines

Ensuring compliance with Philippine labor and industry regulations is a daunting task, requiring constant vigilance and adaptation from your HR team. Failure to keep up with these evolving laws can lead to significant organizational and legal repercussions.

Fortunately, there are solutions available to streamline HR compliance efforts. Professional service providers can offer invaluable expertise in navigating regulatory complexities, while HR software provides a more efficient administrative process. Both options empower your HR department to focus on strategic initiatives and employee management.

Sprout Solutions, the leading payroll software and HRIS provider in the Philippines, offers a range of compliance-related services and tools to clients. These include outsourced compliance housekeeping, expert payroll management services, and automated HR and payroll systems.

Schedule a consultation today to discover how these solutions can enhance your regulatory compliance efforts.