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Employment Law Overview Philippines

Philippines employment law

The Constitution is the basic and paramount law in the Philippines to which all other laws, including the Philippine Labor Code and employment statutes, must conform.  The Constitution prescribes a balanced treatment of labor and capital.  It recognizes the right of labor to its just share in the fruits of production in one hand, and on the other, the right of enterprises to reasonable returns on investments and to expansion and growth,  while acknowledging the indispensable role of the private sector and encouraging private enterprise.
The legal landscape of Philippine labor and employment is molded primarily by the Philippine Labor Code, special labor legislations, Supreme Court decisions and administrative rules and regulations. These govern the relationship of labor and capital in all aspects including labor standards, labor relations, pre-employment, and post-employment matters.


Key Points

The following are the central principles of labor laws and jurisprudence in the Philippines:
  • The relationship between capital and labor is not merely contractual. It is so impressed with public interest that labor contracts must yield to the Philippine Labor Code and other regulations by the State. In other words, labor contracts are no ordinary private contracts; rather, they are imbued with public interest and a proper subject matter of police power measures.
  • Labor is a constitutionally protected social class due to the perceived inequality between capital and labor. The presumption is that the employer and the employee are on unequal footing so the State has the responsibility to protect the employee.  Hence, the aim of labor laws is to strike a balance between rights and responsibilities of the two, or as jurisprudence put it, the “equalization of social and economic forces.”
  • In labor cases, the quantum of proof necessary is substantial evidence, or such amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion.
  • When the evidence in labor cases is in equipoise, doubt is resolved in favor of the employee.
  • The Constitution guarantees the employee’s right to security of tenure,  which means that the employer shall not terminate the services of an employee except for a just cause or when authorized by law.

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Villaraza & Angangco Law Office
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Villaraza & Angangco Law (V&A Law) is a decorated full-service law firm in the Philippines with recognized expertise in Labor and Employment Law. With over 40 years of unparalleled service, V&A Law continues to serve its clients in the full spectrum of Philippine labor law at the highest possible legal standards. It is well-regarded for its timely, accurate, and comprehensive legal advice, whether as regards regulatory compliance or management of labor relations.


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