Understanding the New Domestic Workers Act or Batas
Catherine Franco, Associate
25 June 2013
Quisumbing Torres is a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein with member law firms around the world. In accordance with the common terminology
used in professional service organizations, reference to a "partner" means a person who is a partner, or equivalent, in such a law firm. Similarly, reference to an "office" means
an office of any such law firm.
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Effective date
R.A. No. 10361 took effect on
9 February 2013
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Transitory provision; non-diminution of
– All existing arrangements shall be adjusted to conform
to the minimum standards set by R.A. No. 10361 within
60 days after effectivity of the law.
– The law prohibits diminution or substitution of benefits
and privileges already being enjoyed by domestic
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Who are covered
Domestic worker or “kasambahay”
Any person engaged in domestic work within an
employment relationship such as, but not limited to:
general househelp,
– nursemaid / nanny or “yaya”,
– cook,
– gardener, or
– laundry person.
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Who are not covered?
– any person who performs domestic work only
occasionally or sporadically and not on an occupational
basis (e.g., a student doing baby-sitting job on
– children who are under foster family arrangement and
are provided access to education and given an
allowance incidental to education, i.e., “baon” for
transportation, school projects and school activities
– service providers
– family drivers
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Prohibited acts
It shall be unlawful for the employer:
• to require a domestic worker to make deposits from
which deductions shall be made for the
reimbursement of loss or damage to tools,
materials, furniture and equipment in the
• to employ any person below 15 years of age as a
domestic worker.
to interfere with the freedom of any domestic worker
to dispose of the latter’s wages.
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Prohibited acts (continued)
to withhold the wages of the domestic worker.
to charge any amount from the other household
where the domestic worker was temporarily
assigned to work.
• to place the domestic worker under "debt bondage".
“Debt bondage” means rendering of service by the
domestic worker as security or payment for a debt where
the length and nature of service is not clearly defined or
when the value of the service is not reasonably applied in
the payment of the debt.
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– Commission of acts declared unlawful is punishable
with fine of not less than PhP10,000 but not more than
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Settlement of disputes
– Labor-related disputes shall be elevated to the regional
office of the Department of Labor and Employment
(“DOLE”) having jurisdiction over the workplace.
– The DOLE shall exhaust all conciliation and mediation
– If unsettled, case will be referred for mandatory
– The DOLE Regional Director shall issue a Compliance
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Settlement of disputes (continued)
– Aggrieved party may file a motion for reconsideration
of the Compliance Order within 10 days from receipt.
– The resolution on the motion for consideration may be
appealed to the DOLE Secretary within 10 days from
– The Order of the DOLE Secretary shall be final and
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Rights of domestic workers
– Privacy: Respect for the privacy of the domestic worker
shall be guaranteed at all times and shall extend to all
forms of communication and personal effects.
– Education and training: Employer shall adjust the work
schedule of domestic worker to allow access to
education and training without hampering the services
required by the employer.
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Employment Practice Group Profile
–Quisumbing Torres (“QT”), member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, is one of the consistently top-ranked law firms in
the Philippines to this day. Our lawyers are among the country’s prominent legal counsels in the areas of Banking & Finance,
Corporate & Commercial, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Intellectual Property & Information Technology, and Tax. Fluent
in the nuances of the country's legal, social and political systems, our lawyers have helped draft laws resulting in meaningful
changes in the Philippine labor and tax codes, regulations covering the mining, media and communications, and oil and gas
industries, rules on clean air and hazardous waste management, and IP law enforcement.
–We present our Employment Practice Group in detail below.
–Employment Practice Group
–Foreign and domestic employers are primarily concerned with responsible practices in their Philippine businesses. Toward
this end, QT assists clients on various employment matters ranging from local contracts, benefits, and pensions to global
equity services.
–Specifically, we help clients with
– General employment law advice
– Employment contract review and development
– Workmen’s compensation
– Employee benefits
– Executive compensation and transfer
– Collective employee terminations
– Collective bargaining agreements
– Discrimination and sexual harassment laws
– Trade union recognition procedures
– Executive terminations
– Employment litigation
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Employment Practice Group Profile
What they say about QT…
“The (Employment) Team is known for their ‘very prompt
response times and excellent quality of legal service.
They are flexible and easy to work with and make clients
feel that they are being given prompt attention and
priority’. The ‘excellent’ team is recommended for labour
relations and litigation, and advice on transactional and
outsourcing-related issues.”
– The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2012
Sources say, “They (Employment Team) give good-quality
– Chambers Asia Pacific
“Quisumbing Torres is a standout firm in many practice
areas, but its labour and employment practice garners
exceptional praise.”
– Asialaw Profiles 2012
“The ‘very professional’ Kenneth Chua leads the ‘excellent’ employment team at Quisumbing Torres, which is ‘very
‘very responsive’, and ‘tries to deeply research cases before providing a legal opinion’. It acts for an impressive range of
international clients on both contentious and non-contentious matters. The practice also has deep bench strength, with highly
rated partners including Gil Roberto Zerrudo and Eliseo Zuñiga.”
– The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2013
Awards and recognition
Tier 1 in Employment for seven consecutive years (20072013)
– The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
Leading firm for Employment
– Chambers Asia Pacific 2012-2013
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Tier 1 for Immigration for seven consecutive years (20072013)
– The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
Thank you!
© 2013 Quisumbing Torres
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