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International Employment - Philippines

posted 11 months ago

Our firm’s Labour and Employment Department (LED) consists of currently more than 20 lawyers who specialise in the different fields of employment law, which include labour litigation, money claims and complaints for illegal suspension and illegal dismissal, voluntary arbitration cases, certification elections, social security cases, overseas employment, collective bargaining negotiations, preventive mediation and conciliation of labour disputes, strikes and lockouts, union representation issues, conduct of administrative investigations, employee grievances, labour inspection cases, formulation of employee code of conduct and policies, conduct of labour audits, employment aspect of corporate mergers and acquisitions and incorporation of business entities, and data privacy issues relating to employment.

We represent a good number of the Philippines’ top 100 corporations. Our expertise is recognised and consistently cited in international surveys as number one in all aspects of labour and employment law practice in the country. We take pride in formulating solutions to critical employee and labour relations problems affecting businesses with the end in view of preventing legal disputes with employees.

Starting late last year, our courts have reopened and so we are now seeing an influx of complaints for illegal dismissal and money claims. Notably, some complaints have challenged the business reorganisations implemented by companies as a result of the pandemic, such as redundancy or downsizing, alternative work arrangements, and closure of operations.

One of the primary considerations in employment law in the Philippines is the employees’ right to security, such that he cannot be dismissed except for just or authorised causes that are specifically enumerated under the law. In this regard also, the law mandates that the burden of proving the existence of just or authorised cause rests on the employer, and that any doubts in the interpretation and implementation of labour laws shall be resolved in favour of the employees.

Our LED closely works with managers and human resource leaders in managing employee cases since their inception in order to, as mentioned above, prevent labour complaints to the extent possible, and in case of litigation, how best to defend them. We also conduct seminars and training sessions to clients for this purpose.

Yes. A number of business entities have adopted remote or hybrid working arrangements. Some issues that have arisen as a result are diminution of benefits, performance and training/learning challenges especially for relatively new employees in the company.

No. At present, there is no distinction made between vaccinated and non-vaccinated employees.

Yes. The law also encourages employees to exercise their right to self-organisation and form unions. In this connection, we also educate our clients on legitimate labour practices in dealing with unions, as well as practical considerations that may deter employees from forming a union.

Yes. We are affiliated with several legal organisations and employment practice groups whose members are based in different jurisdictions. We also actively attend the conferences, meetings and webinars that are regularly conducted by these groups.

A relatively new and controversial law is the amendment to the Labour Code provisions on contracting out arrangements to third parties. There are some bills that are now pending in Congress which seek more restrictions on the part of employers to contract out some of its operations.

Our LED supports the active prevention of labour disputes by assisting clients in the formulation and review of their respective employee policies and disciplinary rules; conducting briefings/conferences with clients on significant developments in labour and related laws; and constantly monitoring the best practices on employee relations and people management.

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International Employment - Philippines

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