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Employment Law Overview Philippines
Employment Law Overview Philippines

Employment Law Overview Philippines


The Constitution is the basic and paramount law in the Philippines to which all other laws, including the Philippine Labour Code and employment statutes, must conform. The Constitution prescribes a balanced treatment of labor and capital. It recognises the right of labour 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 labour and employment is molded primarily by the Philippine Labour Code, special labour legislations, Supreme Court decisions, and administrative rules and regulations. These govern the relationship of labour and capital in all aspects including labour standards, labour relations, pre-employment, and post-employment matters.

Key Points

The following are the central principles of labour laws and jurisprudence in the Philippines:

  • The relationship between capital and labour is not merely contractual. It is so impressed with public interest so that labour 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, these are imbued with public interest and a proper subject matter of police power measures.
  • Labour is a constitutionally protected social class due to the perceived inequality between capital and labour. 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 labour 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 labour cases is in equipoise, doubt is resolved in favour 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 authorised by law.

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