House okays on 2nd reading bill granting more paid leaves

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 20 2020 08:39 AM

MANILA - The House of Representatives has approved on 2nd reading a bill granting more leaves with pay to workers.

House Bill 1338 was approved in a viva voce vote where those shouting ayes outyelled those shouting nayes.

The bill increases the service incentive leave from 5 to 10 days for employees who have rendered at least one year of service.

It amends Article 95 of the Labor Code and excludes employees who are already enjoying the benefit and those employed in establishments with less than 10 employees.

In his explanatory note, HB 1338 Author, Baguio Rep. Mark Go said present laws do not require employers to grant sickness and vacation leaves. He added the Labor Code provides only service incentive leaves. 

"These work incentives are given based on the prerogative of the employers either by express stipulation in the employee’s contract or through collective bargaining agreement," he said. 

"An employee who has rendered at least one year of service is entitled to a yearly service incentive leave of 5 days with pay. However the same code provides that an employer who grants employees with vacation leaves of at least 5 days shall already be deemed compliant with the mandatory granting of the service incentive leave, thereby rendering the mandatory leave credit at a minimum of only 5 days.”

Go said increasing the number of paid leaves improves employee morale and boosts productivity. 

The bill should be put to a vote on 3rd and final reading after 3 session days and then submitted to the Senate for action.