May 19, 2024

Workers’ rights encompass a large array of human rights – from the right to decent work and freedom of association to equal opportunity and protection against discrimination. Specific rights related to the workplace include health and safety and the right to privacy at work, among other rights. Given the relationship between workers, employers, and the State, worker’s rights are where ‘business’ and ‘human rights’ most often intersect.
In the Philippines, Article XIII, Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution affirms, “The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all.It shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self-organization, collective bargaining and negotiations, and peaceful concerted activities, including the right to strike in accordance with law. They shall be entitled to security of tenure, humane conditions of work, and a living wage. They shall also participate in policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits as may be provided by law.”
But why does unfair labor practice exist? The answer is, some employers take advantage of employees’ lack of knowledge of labor laws. When employees are not aware of their rights, it is easy for them to shrug off irregularities. There are some businesses that implement open door policy, but good employees resign because the issues are not properly resolved. But still, it pays to know basic employee rights. These rights ensure the safety and health of all workers as follows: equal work opportunities for all regardless of gender, race, or creed and regulate relations between employees and employers.
Every employee shall be assured security of tenure. No employee can be dismissed from work except for a just or authorized cause, and only after due process.Just cause refers to any wrongdoing committed by an employee while authorized cause refers to economic circumstances that are not the employee’s fault.
An employee must be paid their wages for all hours worked. If their work hours fall between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., they are entitled to night shift pay in addition to their pay for regular work hours. If they work over eight hours a day, they are entitled to overtime pay.A day-off of 24 consecutive hours after six days of work should be scheduled by the employer upon consultation with the workers.
For wage and wage-related benefits,wage is the amount paid to an employee in exchange for to the service that they rendered to their employer. Wage may be fixed for a given period. Thus, payment of wagesshould be paid directly to the employee in cash, legal tender, or through a bank and shall be given not less than once every two weeks or twice within a month at intervals not exceeding 16 days.
Women are prohibited from engaging in night work unless the work is allowed by the following rules: industrial undertakings from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., commercial/non-industrial undertakings from midnight to 6 a.m. or agricultural takings at night provided that she has had nine consecutive hours of rest.Welfare facilities, such as separate dressing rooms and lavatories, must be installed at the workplace.
For the employment of children, the minimum employment age is 15 years. Any worker below 15 years of age should be directly under the sole responsibility of parents or guardians provided that work does not interfere with the child’s schooling or development while the minimum age of employment is 18 years for hazardous jobs and 15 years for non-hazardous jobs.
There should besafe working conditions for employees provided by the employer with every kind of on-the-job protection against injury, sickness, or death through safe and healthy working conditions.
Every worker has the right to self-organization, i.e., to form or to join any legitimate workers’ union, free from interference of their employer or the government. All workers may join a union for collective bargaining and is eligible for union membership on the first day of their employment.
Collective bargaining is a process between the employer and the union, where the terms and conditions of employment are fixed and agreed upon. In collective bargaining, the two parties also decide upon a method for resolving grievances. Collective bargaining results in a contract called a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
For more information on labor laws, visit the official website of the Department of Labor and Employment at www.dole.gov.ph. An employee should keep in mind that labor laws can serve as a guide so violations in the workplace are prevented and not to be used otherwise. Employees should also know where to draw the line.There is still such a thing as due process.