DOLE official presents ‘proportionate’ computation on 13th month pay envelop


Employees who were already hit by pay cuts this year may likely receive a lower amount in 13th-month pay, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

During a television interview last Tuesday, Labor Undersecretary Benjo Benavidez explained the amount of the 13th-month pay to be received by workers is “proportionate” to the total salary they earned in a year divided by 12 months.

Many companies were forced to temporarily retrench or reduce the workdays of their workers because of quarantine restrictions implemented by the government.

This, Benavidez said, may translate to companies paying a lower salary and consequently a lower 13th-month pay to their workers.

The labor official noted they would be coming out with a labor advisory on the matter to serve as guide for both employers and workers.

“Many employers think that the 13th-month pay should be [equivalent] to a whole monthly salary of a worker. This is not how a 13th-month pay is computed,” Benavidez said.

DOLE issued the clarification to allay the concerns of several business leaders that many pandemic-affected companies, specially the small ones, may not be able to afford the usual 13th-month pay of their workers.

Presidential Decree 851 mandates employers to pay the said benefit to their workers before December 24 of every year.

To address the matter, the Small Business Corporation of the Department of Trade and Industry  will be once again extending zero-interest loans to micro and small firms, which may not be able to afford to pay the 13th-month of their workers.

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