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DOLE chief reminds employers: Give 13th month pay before Christmas

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday reminded employers to pay their workers’ 13th month pay not later than December 24, Christmas Eve.

In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said all rank-and-file employees should receive 13th month pay, regardless of the nature of their employment, and irrespective of the methods by which their wages are paid, provided they worked for at least one month in a year.

“The 13th month pay is a labor standard provision of the law that the DOLE does not compromise as to its payment,” Bello said.

Bello highlighted the benefit of giving workers what is due them, saying their productivity in the workplace increases.

“Good labor-management relations, increased workers’ and enterprises’ productivity and competiveness result to workers being paid what is due them,” Bello said.

The 13th month pay is defined to mean one-twelfth of the basic salary of an employee within a calendar year.

The basic salary includes all remunerations or earnings paid by an employer to an employee for services rendered, but may not include cost-of-living allowances (COLA), profit-sharing payments, cash equivalents of unused vacation and sick leave credits, overtime pay, premium pay, night shift differential pay, holiday pay, and all allowances and monetary benefits which are not considered, or integrated as part of the regular or basic salary of the employee.

Employers failing to pay the 13th month benefit are liable to money claim cases that aggrieved employees may file with any DOLE regional offices.

Under the Labor Code, every covered employer is required to make a report of compliance to the nearest DOLE regional office not later than 15 January of each year. — VVP, GMA News