Employees are a step closer to enjoying a 10-day annual service incentive leave after the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a bill which aims to add five more days to the current 5-day yearly incentive leave.
The said bill which is expected to “boost the workers’ morale, wellness, and productivity” has received 203 affirmative votes, with no negative votes or abstention. House Bill 6770 seeks to amend Article 95 of Presidential Decree No. 442, or the Labor Code of the Philippines.
Once passed into law, employees who have rendered at least one year of service would be entitled to an annual incentive leave of 10 days.
Principal author of the said bill, Baguio Representative Mark Go stated that the prevailing law does not require employers to permit vacation and sick leaves. These privileges are given based on the prerogative of the employers or through collective bargaining agreement.
Exemptions are still in effect, though. Employees who are already enjoying similar benefits such as vacation leave with pay of at least ten days will be exempted. Establishments regularly employing less than ten employees or companies/employers expressly exempted by the Labor and Employment due to viability or conditions are also not expected to provide the service incentive leave.
To answer the negative responses of some saying this will be greatly disadvantageous to employers, Go reasoned out that it is mutually beneficial to both employees and employers.
“The granting of such incentive boosts the morale and satisfaction of employees which is manifested in their increased productivity. Leave credits also minimize the risks of health and safety issues among employees which may be even costlier for both employers and employees in the long run,” he said.
After the Third and Final reading, the approved bill will be transmitted to the Senate for its concurrence. If the Senate also approved it, it will be go through a conference committee before being signed by the President.