Conditions of employment
Conditions of employment are the rules, requirements, and policies an employer and employee agree to abide by during the employee’s service to the company. They spell out the rights and obligations of each party. Conditions of employment are also known as terms of employment.
These terms, which may also be referred to as conditions of employment, generally include job responsibilities, work hours, dress code, time off the job, and starting salary. They may also include benefits such as health insurance, life insurance, and retirement plans. Provisions in the Labor Code have regulated various aspects of employment conditions, such as labor contracts, wages, working hours, labor discipline, occupational safety and health, and social benefits.
Article 294 of the Labor Code states the four kinds of employment arrangement namely: regular employment, project employment, seasonal employment, and casual employment.
Article 280 of the Labor Code states the primary standard that determines regular employment is the reasonable connection between the particular activity performed by the employee and the usual business or trade of the employer, the emphasis is on the necessity or desirability of the employee’s activity. Thus, when the employee performs activities considered necessary and desirable to the overall business scheme of the employer, the law regards the employee as regular.
In addition, the Labor Code considers as regular employment a casual arrangement when the casual employee’s engagement has lasted for at least one year, regardless of the engagement’s continuity. The controlling test in this arrangement is the length of time during which the employee is engaged.
Project employment contemplates an arrangement whereby the employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking whose completion or termination has been determined at the time of the engagement of the employee.
Since the employee’s services are coterminous with the project, the services of the project employees are legally and automatically terminated upon the end or completion of the project or a phase of the project, for which they were hired.The employer has no obligation to pay them separation pay.
The predetermination of the duration of the period of a project employment is important in resolving if an employee is a project employee or not. For example, in a previous case, the court ruled that while the employee was clearly hired for a specific project, the absence of a definite period of the project led the court to the conclusion the employee was regular.
Seasonal employment applies where the work or service to be performed is seasonal in nature and the employment is for the duration of the season. Seasonal workers who are rehired every working season are considered to be regular employees.
The nature of their relationship with the employer is such that during off season they are temporarily laid off, but when their services are needed, they are re-employed. They are not, strictly speaking, separated from the service but are merely considered as on a leave of absence without pay until they are re-employed. Their employment relationship is never severed but only suspended. As a result, these employees are considered to be in the regular employment of the employer.
There is casual employment where an employee is engaged to perform a job, work or service which is merely incidental to the business of the employer, and that job, work or service is for a definite period made known to the employee at the time of engagement (Implementing rules of the Labor Code, Book VI, Rule I, section 5[b]).
A casual employee is one whose work is neither regular, project or seasonal.
Title 1, Book 3 of the Labor Code provides for minimum conditions of employment in respect of hours of work, meal periods, night shift provisions, overtime work, weekly rest periods, holidays, service incentive leaves and service charges.
However, these minimum conditions of employment do not apply to the following employees (excluded employees): Government employees, managerial employees, officers and members of the managerial staff, field personnel, members of the family of the employer who are dependent on him for support, domestic helpers (they are covered by Republic Act 10381 or the Batas Kasambahay), persons in the personal service of another, and workers who are paid by result as determined by the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment.
In addition, employers must pay their rank-and-file employees who have worked for at least one month during the calendar year 13th month pay not later than Dec. 24 of every year. This requirement covers all employers except: employers of those who are paid on a purely commission basis, boundary or task basis and employers of those who are paid a fixed amount for performing a specific task, irrespective of the time spent performing that specific task (with the exception of workers paid on a piece-rate basis).
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