KASAMBAHAYS TOLD TO FILE LABOR COMPLAINTS AT DOLE
Underscoring the importance of dialogue in settling labor disputes, Secretary Silvestre Bello III encouraged kasambahays to file labor-related complaints at the labor department.
This as Bello issued Labor Advisory No. 35, which spells out the procedures on the conduct of mandatory conference, issuance of compliance order, and handling of appealed labor disputes involving kasambahay. The advisory was issued on the eve of the celebration of the Kasambahay law signed in 2013.
The issuance supplements Labor Advisory No. 17, Series of 2018, which provides guidelines on handling kasambahay complaints or request for assistance through the Single Entry Approach (SEnA).
SEnA is a mechanism that provides accessible, speedy, impartial, and inexpensive settlement procedure of all labor and employment issues through a 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation.
Under the guidelines, after a request for assistance has been filed by the kasambahay at the DOLE Central/Regional/Provincial/Field Offices or its Attached Agencies, a mandatory conference shall be conducted by the handling officer and the issue shall be resolved within 30 days from the conduct of initial proceedings.
Depending on the preference and availability of the kasambahay and their employer, conferences may be done face-to-face while observing the prescribed minimum health standards and safety protocols or through digital platforms.
The hearing officer shall require submission of documents, such as employment contract or agreement, pay-slip showing payment and receipt of wages and benefits, and other pertinent documents from concerned parties.
The minutes of the conference, which shall either be in a physical or digital copy, will be signed by the parties and attested to by the DOLE hearing officer. Within 10 days after the termination of the mandatory conference, the hearing officer shall submit recommendation for the resolution of the case.
The DOLE Regional Director shall then issue the compliance order within 10 days from submission of the case for resolution. The compliance order shall contain the statement of evidence supporting the findings of monetary award, among others; and computation of the unpaid wages and other benefits, including the period covered and the formula used in the computation.
It shall also contain directive to the employer to submit proof of compliance within 10 days from receipt of the compliance order. If the employer fails or refuses to pay any of the prescribed increases or adjustments in wage rates, the respondent/employer is given a period of 10 days from receipt of the compliance order to pay the wage differential.
The compliance order, however, may be appealed to the DOLE Secretary by filing a Memorandum of Appeal, together with an appeal bond, either in cash or surety in an amount equivalent to the judgement award, within 10 days from receipt thereof. The DOLE Secretary shall have 30 days from receipt of the entire records of the case to decide the appeal.
Finally, the case shall be considered closed and terminated after the Resolution or Decision of the DOLE Secretary has attained finality and an Entry of Judgment was issued.
WEEKLY FEATURE : JOSE MARI CHAN AND THE CHRISTMAS ANTHEM