The Philippines’ Labour Code and Holidays: How they affect offshore labour in western countries

The Filipino people are known to be hospitable and jovial; therefore, it’s no surprise that the country celebrates many holidays. However, this can pose a challenge for businesses that rely on offshore labour from the Philippines.

So, for organisations looking to outsource to offshore staffing companies based in the Philippines, it is crucial to know and understand the country’s holiday schedules.

In this article, we’ll discuss how these laws and holidays can affect offshore labour in Western countries and provide some insights on each one for an opportunity to foster a cultural bond between onshore and offshore employees.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the important National Holidays in the Philippines and what they mean to the Filipino people:

New Year’s Day (January 01): All businesses in the Philippines are required to close on New Year’s Day.

Maundy Thursday and Good Friday (April): These two holidays are part of Holy Week, and most businesses in the Philippines are required to close on these days.

Araw ng Kagitingan (April 09): This national holiday in the Philippines commemorates the country’s heroes.

Labour Day (May 01): This is a national holiday in the Philippines that celebrates workers. All businesses must give their employees the day off on this day.

Independence Day (June 12): This national holiday commemorates the country’s independence from Spain.

Ninoy Aquino Day (August 21): This national holiday in the Philippines honours Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., who was assassinated in 1983.

National Heroes Day (Last Monday of August): This national holiday in the Philippines honours the country’s heroes.

Bonifacio Day (November 30): This national holiday honours Andres Bonifacio, a key figure in the country’s fight for independence.

Christmas Day (December 25): Christmas is one of the country’s biggest holidays; most workers typically spend it visiting friends and family.

Rizal Day (December 30): This national holiday celebrates Jose Rizal, the nation’s national hero.

Businesses should be aware of these National Holidays in the Philippines. These days mean Filipino employees are paid 200% of their daily rate and living allowance for employees that choose to work. On the other hand, organizations are still liable to pay 100% of their daily wages and allowances for employees who decide not to clock in.

The Philippines also have Special Non-Working Holidays. These are occasions that depend on Presidential Declarations during the year. Employees are entitled to a minimum of 130% of their daily wages and allowances during these holidays. However, if employees decide not to come to work these days, employers do not have to pay them.

The Special Non-Working Holidays are as follows:

  • Chinese New Year (January or February)
  • EDSA Revolution Anniversary (February 25)
  • Black Saturday (April)
  • Eidul Fitr* (May or June)
  • National Thanksgiving Day for Peace (August 21)
  • Eidul Adha* (September or October)
  • All Saints’ Day (November 01)
  • Additional special days as declared by the President

*Note: The exact dates for Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adha depend on the lunar calendar and may change from year to year.

As you can see, the Philippines’ labour code and holidays can significantly impact business operations in Western countries that rely on offshore labour from the country. Therefore, it’s essential to be aware of these things to plan accordingly and ensure your business is not affected.