Labor Code of the Philippines

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Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, known as the “Labor Code of the Philippines,” is the governing law between employers and employees in the private sector. It seeks to afford protection to labor, promote employment and human resources development and insure industrial peace based on social justice. The code is composed of a preliminary title and seven (7) books: pre-employment; human resources development program; conditions of employment; health, safety and social welfare benefits; labor relations; post employment, and; transitory and final provisions.



The Labor Code prescribes the rules for hiring and termination of private employees; the conditions of work including maximum work hours and overtime; employee benefits such as holiday pay, thirteenth month pay and retirement pay; and the guidelines in the organization and membership to labor unions as well as in collective bargaining.

The Labor Code contains provisions beneficial to labor. Private employees cannot be terminated from employment except for just causes, as prescribed in Article 282 to 284 of the Code. The right to self-organization is expressly recognized, as well as the right of a union to insist on a closed shop. Strikes are also authorized so long as they comply with the strict requirements under the Code, and workers who organize or participate in illegal strikes may be subject to dismissal. Moreover, Philippine jurisprudence has long applied a rule that any doubts in the interpretation of law, especially the Labor Code, will be resolved in favor of labor and against management.

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