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House ​approves bill on 10-day service incentive leave ​on second reading

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

A measure seeking raise the yearly service incentive leave of employees from five to 10 days has been recently approved on second reading in the House of Representatives.

Principally authored by Baguio City Rep. Mark Go, House Bill 6770 provides that every employee who has rendered at least one year of service shall be entitled to a yearly service incentive leave of 10 days. Go said the measure also aims to boost the workers’ morale, wellness, and productivity.

Go said the granting of paid leaves is beneficial to the employees and economically advantageous to the employers.

“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,” said Go.

The current Labor Code does not require employers to grant sick and vacation leaves as it only provides “service incentive leaves.”

The Baguio City solon explained that these work incentives are given based on the prerogative of the employers, either by expressed stipulation on the employees’ contract or through collective bargaining agreement.

According the measure, an employee who has rendered at least one year of service is entitled to a yearly service incentive leave of five days with pay. However, the same law provides that an employer who grants employees with a five-day vacation shall already be deemed compliant with the mandatory granting of the service incentive leave.

“With the increase in the number of leave credits in the form of sick or vacation leave credits left purely at the discretion of the employers, employees constrained by limited leave credits are left vulnerable to sickness, emergencies and other fortuitous events that would cost them a day of paid work,” said Go.

The proposed legislation shall not apply to those who are already enjoying such benefit, those enjoying vacation leave with pay of at least 10 days, and those in establishments regularly employing less than 10 employees or in establishments exempted from granting this benefit by the Secretary of Labor and Employment after considering the viability or condition of such establishment.