Labor Laws in the Philippines allow employers to terminate employees.  The termination, however, must not be based on mere whim or caprice of the employer against his employee.  It must stand on reasonable ground for the termination to be considered legal.  These grounds are called the Authorized Causes of Termination.

Differentiated from the Just Causes of Termination, Authorized causes are those which do not arise from fault or negligence of the employee.  These authorized causes are attributable to the employer and are anchored on management prerogative.  Enumerated as the authorized c1auses are: 1) Installation of Labor-Saving Devices, 2) Redundancy, 3) Retrenchment to Prevent Losses, 4) Closure or Cessation of Operation and 5) Disease.

Installation of labor-saving devices concerns the introduction of machinery or automation processes in the work system in order to improve productivity.

Redundancy happens when there is an overlap of the services rendered by employees than what is required in the business.  This may result from decreased volume of business or the dropping of a product or service previously offered by the company.

Retrenchment to prevent losses involves the preemptive cutting of costs in salaries and wages in order to avoid perceivable business losses.  The losses perceived must be serious, actual and real.

Closure or cessation of business points to the actual shutting down of a business.  The closure may be total or partial, as when only a department ceases its operations.  The cessation of business is essential to thwart the establishment’s further financial drain.

Lastly, an employee may be terminated because of the affliction of a disease.  The continued employment of the sick person must be prejudicial to his health and his co-workers.  The disease must also be one that is not curable within 6 months even with proper medical treatment.

Proper due process must be observed when dismissing employees due to authorized causes.  If the basis is installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses and closure or cessation of operations, the employer is mandated to serve written notice to both the employee and the concerned Regional Office of the Department of Labor at least 30 days before the effectivity of the termination.

In addition, the termination for an authorized cause must be attended with good faith.  There must also be a fair and reasonable criteria in the selection of employee termination.  In the appropriate cases, separation pay must be paid to the employee at the time of his dismissal from work.

 

Right Of Employees To Form Union

Right of employees to form union is one way of affording labor their right to self-organization. Right to self-organization is not only protected by the labor laws but also by the Philippine Constitution, the supreme law of the land.

Section 3 of Republic Act No. 875 provides that employees shall have the right to self-organization and to form, join of assist labor organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of collective bargaining and to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining and other mutual aid or protection.

Whereas the provision only speaks of joining an organization or union, it does not preclude one from abstaining to join a union. The right to join includes the right not to join an organization.

Employees who are members of religious sects whose beliefs do not allow membership in any organization cannot, in any way, be compelled to join one. However, should they manifest willingness to sign up for membership, they cannot be precluded from doing the same.

Any employee may be or may not be affiliated with any employees’ organization. Either way, this should not be used by the employer to discriminate against the employees especially in terms of benefits afforded by law to labor. Or else, this may lead to a case of unfair labor practice committed by the employer.

Right to strike

As one component of the right guaranteed to labor is the right to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining. This includes the employees’ right to strike, picketing or stoppage of work. This is a means for an employee to voice out their demands and grievances to their employer. Yet, holding of a strike must be made in accordance with the requirements laid down by law and the concerned government authorities. Otherwise, the law may hold the employee responsible for the infraction.

Benefits of Joining a Labor Organization or Union

Affiliation with a labor/employee organization or union gives an employee the benefit to bargain collectively with the employer. Usually, what is being bargained are things concerning wages, fringe benefits and other working conditions of the employees.

Most importantly, the labor union where you may be a member can give you representation in case of employment issue with the employer.