National legal framework for domestic workers

Strengthening Capacities of Government and Social Partners to Implement National Legal Framework for Domestic Workers

This Project is a continuation of the International Labour Organization's (ILO) support to the tripartite-plus Technical Working Group on Decent Work for Domestic Workers (Domestic Work TWG) and to various government agencies mandated to promote compliance and implement the law.

On 18 January 2013, the Philippine government has enacted into law the Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers (Republic Act 10361), which is also called the Domestic Workers Act and more popularly known as “Batas Kasambahay.“

Batas Kasambahay is a landmark piece of labour and social legislation that extends labour rights, benefits, and protection to nearly 2 million domestic workers in the Philippines. The Act, which derived guidance from the ILO Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No.189), provides for the protection of domestic workers against abuse, debt bondage, and worst forms against child labor in domestic work. It sets minimum standards for wages, hours and days of rest, and other benefits for domestic workers. Furthermore, it extends social security, public health insurance, and home development mutual fund to the sector and provides for mechanisms for quick response to abuse and accessible means to redress grievances. The new law improves on the provisions of the Labor Code of the Philippines on Household Helpers and other related social legislation.

Batas Kasambahay is envisaged to facilitate domestic workers’ gradual transition from informal to formal form of employment. Its passage is considered to be historical and widely picked up by international and national media. The media mileage, however, brought strong reactions from household employers regarding formalizing employment arrangements with their domestic workers, registration of domestic workers to the Barangays, Social Security System (SSS), PhilHealth and Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF/ Pag-IBIG).

This Project is a continuation of ILO’s support to the tripartite-plus Technical Working Group on Decent Work for Domestic Workers (Domestic Work TWG) and to various government agencies mandated to promote compliance and implement the law. The country level outcomes and major activities of the project include:

Main outcomes:

  1. Measures aimed at improving the implementation of Republic Act 10361 and formalizing employment of domestic workers formulated and adopted.
  2. Strategic capacity building tools and modules designed and implemented to aid tripartite-plus partners and mandated government agencies in providing services and addressing issues on employment of domestic workers.
  3. Organized domestic workers and employers of domestic workers represent and participate in social dialogue on decent work for domestic workers.
  4. Information resources developed and public advocacy and communication campaign undertaken to raise public awareness and compliance with Republic Act 10361.
  5. Improved knowledge base on domestic work and process of formalizing employment.
  6. Integrated practical strategies and interventions on effective service delivery and response to domestic workers issues pilot-tested in one to two regions.

Main activities:

  • Conduct of forums for household employers, employers’ representatives, domestic workers, workers groups and civil society organizations; on new policies and guidelines regarding minimum wage fixing for domestic workers.
  • Conduct of Stakeholders’ Workshop towards a participatory impact assessment of domestic workers’ situation in the Philippines.
  • Development, publication and pre-testing of the Kasambahay Basic Information and Training Guide for all service providers.
  • Consultations and meetings with partners to assess the pilot-testing and implementation of tools and modules developed.
  • Contribute to data collection and formulation of knowledge products and tools for conciliation, mediation, dispute prevention and resolution in domestic work sector.
  • Documentation of initiatives on empowering and organizing local domestic workers.
  • Celebration of the International and National Domestic Workers’ Day through public and media events.
  • Technical assistance to trade unions in mobilizing and building capacities of domestic workers they organize on social dialogue, rights awareness, basic financial literacy and introduction to entrepreneurship, etc.
  • Technical assistance to employers group in mobilizing and building capacities of household employers and employers’ representatives on social dialogue regarding issues concerning compliance and effective implementation of Republic Act 10361 and ILO Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189).
  • Technical assistance to selected local government units in 1 or 2 regions on effective implementation of Republic Act 10361
  • Facilitate assessment and planning sessions to develop and/ or update roadmap, strategic framework of tripartite-plus partners and mandated government agencies in implementing Republic Act 10361.

For further information, please contact:

ILO Country Office for the Philippines (CO- Manila)
19th Floor, Yuchengco Tower
RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Avenue
1200 Makati City, Philippines
Tel. +632 580 9900
Fax +632 856 7597
Email