Understanding Labor Code Requirements for New Businesses

Complying with the Labor Code of the Philippines is crucial for new businesses to ensure fair labor practices and avoid legal issues. The Labor Code (Presidential Decree No. 442) governs employment practices and labor relations in the Philippines. Here’s a comprehensive guide on the Labor Code requirements that new businesses need to be aware of.

1. Employee Classification

Key Points:

  • Regular Employees: Hired for an indefinite period, and they enjoy full benefits and job security after six months of employment.
  • Probationary Employees: Employed on a trial basis for up to six months to determine their suitability for regular employment.
  • Contractual Employees: Hired for a specific project or period. Their employment terminates upon project completion or contract expiration.
  • Seasonal Employees: Employed for specific seasons or periods of the year.

Action: Clearly define and classify employees to ensure they receive the appropriate benefits and protections.

2. Wages and Compensation

Minimum Wage:

  • National Capital Region (NCR): As of the latest updates, the minimum wage in NCR is PHP 570 per day for non-agricultural workers.
  • Provincial Rates: Minimum wages vary by region and industry. Consult the latest wage orders from the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board.

Additional Compensation:

  • Overtime Pay: 125% of the regular hourly rate for work beyond eight hours a day.
  • Night Shift Differential: 110% of the regular hourly rate for work performed between 10 PM and 6 AM.
  • Holiday Pay: 100% of the daily rate even if the employee does not work, and an additional 100% if they work on a regular holiday.
  • 13th Month Pay: Mandatory bonus equivalent to one-twelfth of an employee’s basic salary for the year, to be paid on or before December 24.

Action: Ensure compliance with minimum wage laws and additional compensation requirements.

3. Work Hours and Rest Periods

Standard Work Hours:

  • Regular Hours: Eight hours a day, six days a week.
  • Overtime: Work beyond eight hours a day must be compensated with overtime pay.

Rest Periods:

  • Meal Breaks: At least one-hour unpaid meal break for every eight hours of work.
  • Rest Days: At least one rest day every week.

Action: Implement and monitor work schedules to comply with standard work hours and rest periods.

4. Employee Benefits

Mandatory Benefits:

  • Social Security System (SSS): Coverage for retirement, disability, maternity, sickness, and death benefits. Employers must register with SSS and remit contributions.
  • PhilHealth: Health insurance coverage for hospitalization, surgery, and other medical expenses. Employers must register with PhilHealth and remit contributions.
  • Pag-IBIG Fund: Provident savings system providing housing loans and other financial assistance. Employers must register with Pag-IBIG and remit contributions.

Action: Register your business with SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG. Deduct employee contributions and remit them, along with employer contributions, to the respective agencies.

5. Employment Contracts

Key Points:

  • Written Contracts: Provide written employment contracts outlining job descriptions, compensation, work hours, and other terms and conditions.
  • Probationary Contracts: Clearly define the probationary period and criteria for regular employment.
  • Project-Based Contracts: Specify the project duration and conditions for termination.

Action: Draft clear and comprehensive employment contracts for all employees.

6. Health and Safety

Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS):

  • Workplace Safety: Ensure compliance with OSHS to provide a safe and healthy working environment.
  • Training and Information: Conduct regular training and provide information on workplace safety and health.

Action: Implement safety programs, conduct risk assessments, and ensure compliance with health and safety standards.

7. Leaves and Holiday Entitlements

Mandatory Leaves:

  • Service Incentive Leave: Five days of paid leave after one year of service.
  • Maternity Leave: 105 days of paid leave for female employees who give birth, with an option for an additional 30 days of unpaid leave.
  • Paternity Leave: Seven days of paid leave for married male employees upon the birth of their legitimate child.
  • Parental Leave: Seven days of paid leave for solo parents.
  • Special Leave for Women: Two months of paid leave for female employees who undergo surgery due to gynecological disorders.

Holiday Entitlements:

  • Regular Holidays: Employees are entitled to a day off with pay on regular holidays. If they work, they are entitled to 200% of their regular daily wage.
  • Special (Non-Working) Days: If employees work on special non-working days, they are entitled to 130% of their regular daily wage.

Action: Implement policies to ensure employees receive their entitled leaves and holiday pay.

8. Termination of Employment

Just Causes for Termination:

  • Serious Misconduct
  • Willful Disobedience
  • Gross and Habitual Neglect of Duties
  • Fraud or Willful Breach of Trust
  • Commission of a Crime

Authorized Causes for Termination:

  • Redundancy
  • Retrenchment to Prevent Losses
  • Closure or Cessation of Operations
  • Disease


  • Notice: Provide a written notice to the employee specifying the grounds for termination and allow them to explain or defend themselves.
  • Separation Pay: Provide separation pay for authorized causes, as mandated by law.

Action: Follow due process in terminating employees and ensure compliance with legal requirements for separation pay.

Best Practices for Compliance

  1. Regular Audits:

    • Conduct regular audits to ensure compliance with labor laws and identify any areas needing improvement.
  2. Employee Training:

    • Provide regular training for employees and management on labor laws, workplace safety, and company policies.
  3. Consult Legal Experts:

    • Engage with legal experts or labor consultants to stay updated on labor laws and ensure compliance.
  4. Maintain Open Communication:

    • Foster open communication between management and employees to address concerns and maintain a positive work environment.
  5. Documentation:

    • Keep detailed records of employment contracts, payroll, benefits, leaves, and other employment-related documents.


Compliance with the Labor Code of the Philippines is essential for new businesses to ensure fair labor practices and avoid legal issues. By understanding and adhering to labor laws, businesses can create a positive work environment, enhance employee satisfaction, and maintain legal compliance.

Navigating the business landscape in the Philippines can be both rewarding and intricate. Whether you’re embarking on a new venture or scaling up, ensuring that your corporate endeavors are in line with local regulations is paramount.

At CBOS Business Solutions Inc., we pride ourselves on simplifying these processes for our clients. As a seasoned professional services company, we offer comprehensive assistance with SEC Registration, Visa processing, and a myriad of other essential business requirements. Our team of experts is dedicated to ensuring that your business is compliant, well-established, and ready to thrive in the Philippine market.

Why venture into the complexities of business registration and compliance alone? Allow our team to guide you every step of the way. After all, your success is our commitment.

Get in touch today and let us be your partner in achieving your business goals in the Philippines.

Email Address: gerald.bernardo@cbos.com.ph

Mobile No.: +639270032851

You can also click this link to schedule a meeting.






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