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Philippines - Substantive requirements for dismissals

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - Philippines - 2013    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
  • Art. 277 b) LC: The employer shall furnish the worker whose employment is sought to be terminated a written notice containing a statement of the causes for termination and shall afford the latter ample opportunity to be heard and to defend himself with the assistance of a representative.

Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
  • In the Philippines, the employee has "the right to security of tenure" (art. 13 (3) of the Constitution and art. 279 LC). This means that an employee can only be dismissed for a just cause or an authorized cause and after the observance of the procedure laid down by the law (Omnibus Implementing Rules, Rule XIV, sec. 1)
    - Just causes are blameworthy acts on the part of the employee such as serious misconduct, willful disobedience, gross and habitual neglect of duties, fraud or willful breach of trust, commission of a crime and other analogous causes (art. 282, LC).
    - Authorized causes are of two types: economic reasons and disease (art. 283 and 284 LC).
    *Economic reasons cover "installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking".
    *Disease cover situation where an "employee has been found to be suffering from any disease and whose continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his health as well as to the health of his co-employees".

Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; filing a complaint against the employer; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; HIV status
  • Art. 135 LC (sexual discrimination), Art. 136 LC (stipulation against marriage), art. 137 LC (prohibited acts)
    Art. 248 a), b) e) f) (unfair labour practices)
    Art. 35 of the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998 (No. 8504)
    Sec. 32 g) of the Republic Act No. 7277 providing Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.

Workers enjoying special protection: pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
  • Art. 137 (2) LC: It is prohibited to dismiss a woman while on leave or in confinement due to her pregnancy.
    There is no general prohibition to dismiss a woman during her pregnancy, however pregnancy shall not be a ground for dismissal.