Qualified employees may soon enjoy yearly paid leaves of up to 10 days after the House of Representatives passed on third and final reading a measure seeking to double the service incentive leaves on August 29.
With a vote of 203-0, the Lower House passed House Bill No. 6770, which seeks to award 10 days of paid service incentive leaves annually for every employee that has been part of a company for at least one year. This is double than the five days that is currently required by law.
According to a press release issued by the House of Representatives, the bill, which seeks to amend Presidential Decree No. 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines, hopes to “boost workers’ morale, wellness, and productivity” once passed into law.
“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,” the bill’s principal author, Representative Mark Go, said in a statement.
A similar measure was passed in the Senate on November 2017 but it remains pending at the committee level.
The paid service incentive leave is a benefit for employees who have rendered at least one year of service required by the Labor Code. It aims to allow employees to take personal time off from work to take care of personal activities or endeavors while still enjoying compensation.
However, it is not available to employees who already enjoy vacation leaves of similar duration. Organizations employing less than 10 workers are also exempted from granting the service incentive leave.
Still, if the bill gets enacted into law, this will place the Philippines’ labor laws ahead of rich, neighboring countries such as Japan, Singapore and China that all require less than 10 days of paid annual leaves for employees that have rendered at least one year of service.
The bill may also help employers to maintain strong retention rate in its workforce as millennials, or those born from 1980 to 1994 and Gen Z workers, or those born after 1995, demand more from employers.
Last year, job marketplace site JobStreet.com revealed in its annual compensation and benefit survey that millennials and Gen Z workers are demanding more leave benefits on top of higher compensation.
The survey also said employees are more willing to “spend the rest of their career in the same firm” when such benefits are provided for them.
Elyssa Christine Lopez is a stff writer of Entrepreneur PH