Littler Global Guide - Philippines - Q1 2017

by Littler
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[author: Franchesca Abigail Gesmundo - Associate - Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz]

Persons With Disabilities May Now Be Declared as Dependents for Tax Purposes

Enacted Legislation

Republic Act No. 10754, enacted on March 23, 2016 and effective on December 23, 2016, expanded the benefits of persons with disability (PWDs) to include PWDs who are within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to the taxpayer, regardless of age, who are not gainfully employed and chiefly dependent upon the taxpayer, as dependents. Those caring for and living with a PWD, as individual taxpayers, shall be accorded the privileges granted by the National Internal Revenue Code insofar as having dependents under the same.

Discrimination Based on Age in Employment Prohibited

Enacted Legislation

Republic Act No. 10911 or the Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act enumerates prohibited acts in hiring or selecting employees because of their age. The law provides exceptions for bona fide occupational qualifications and seniority systems or observing the terms of a retirement plan. Violations of the Act are punished with a fine of Php50,000.00 to 500,000.00 or imprisonment from 3 months to 2 years or both.

Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Data Privacy Act

Enacted Legislation

The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Data Privacy Act of 2012 were promulgated last August 24, 2016 and made effective September 9, 2016. They enumerate obligations on processing of personal/sensitive personal data and mandate a registry of personal information controllers and processors, and data processing systems with the National Privacy Commission. There is also a strict obligation of confidentiality concerning the management of data on Human Resources. The IRR also prescribes organizational security measures, physical security measures, and technical security measures. Depending on the type of offense, a violation of the Data Privacy Act is punishable with a fine of Php100,000.00 to Php4,000,000.00 or imprisonment of 6 months to 7 years.

New Rules Governing Security Guards and Personnel

New Order or Decree

Department of Labor and Employment Department Order No. 150-16, promulgated last April 9, 2016 and in effect as of April 15, 2016, regulates the engagement of security service contractors or private security agencies employing security guards or personnel. Both the principal and the contractor must conform to the requirements of the Department Order, otherwise, the company will be deemed engaged in prohibited labor-only contracting. In that case, the principal will be deemed as the direct employer of the contracted security guards.

Registration of Contractors Suspended

New Order or Decree

Department of Labor and Employment Department Order No. 162-16 promulgated July 25, 2016 suspended the registration of contractors under Department Order No. 18-A, series of 2011. To date, the suspension has yet to be lifted.

Supreme Court Holds that Password-Sharing is a Terminable Offense

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

On June 15, 2016, the Philippine Supreme Court ruled that unauthorized password sharing is a ground for termination of employment due to a violation of the corresponding bank’s policy and for loss of trust and confidence in the erring employee.

Increasing Maternity Leave to 120 Days

Proposed Bill or Proposed Initiative

On March 6, 2017, the Philippine Senate approved Senate Bill No. 1305 or the “Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2017.” Under this Bill, all female workers, regardless of civil status or legitimacy of child, shall be entitled to 120 days of maternity leave with pay, with an option to extend for 30 days without pay. Under the current law, maternity leave is for 60 or 72 days, for normal and caesarian deliveries, respectively.

Anti-Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

Proposed Bill or Proposed Initiative

House Bill No. 267 or An Act Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity and Providing Penalties Therefor, otherwise known as the Anti-SOGI Discrimination Act, is currently undergoing deliberations in the Philippine Congress. Among others, the Act seeks to declare as unlawful, the inclusion of sexual orientation or gender identity as part of the terms or conditions of employment.

Increase in Inspections of Contracting Arrangements

Trend

Recently, there has been an increase in labor inspections conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment on contracting arrangements of companies. This was due, in part, to the campaign promise of the current Administration to eliminate “contractualization” and after an update of the Labor Laws Compliance System last May 2016. A finding of the existence of a labor-only contracting arrangement will render the principal liable as the direct employer of the contractor's employees.

 

View all Q1 2017 Global Guide Quarterly updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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