Party-list reps seeks 2-year probationary period for workers
A bill filed on Sep. 24, 2019 in the House of Representatives seeks to extend the maximum allowable period of probationary employment to 24 months from the current six months.
Party-list reps seeks 2-year probationary period for workers
Ratziel San Juan ( - October 16, 2019 - 8:08pm

MANILA, Philippines — A bill at the House of Representatives has been filed to extend the probationary employment period to 24 months from the current six months.

House Bill 4802, filed in September by Rep. Jose "Bonito" Singson Jr. (Probinsyano Ako party-list) seeks to amend the Labor Code of the Philippines and allow employers to "avoid the automatic regularization" of employees in their workforce.

“[A] period of six months under the present set up is not sufficient a period in order for the employer to determine if the probationary employee is qualified for regular employment, especially in positions which require specialized skills and talents,” Singson says in the explanatory note of the bill.

"Because of the maximum six-month period prescribed by law, employers are inclined to terminate the probationary employees before the expiration of the six-month period, rather than risk oppression by being stuck with a substandard employee.”

According to a Bureau of Labor Relations briefer on termination of employment employers can fire regular employees for just cause.

Among the just causes are:

  • Serious misconduct or willfull disobedience to lawful and work-related orders
  • Gross and habitual neglect of duties
  • Fraud or willful breach of an employer's trust
  • Commission of a crime or offense against an employer or their family

READ: Security of Tenure bill not a safety net for 'habitual absentees

Article 281 the Labor Code states: “Probationary employment shall not exceed six (6) months from the date the employee started working, unless it is covered by an apprenticeship agreement stipulating a longer period...An employee who is allowed to work after a probationary period shall be considered a regular employee.”

A probationary employee may also be terminated “for a just cause” or when he does not meet standards set and made known by the employer, according to the provision. 

President Rodrigo Duterte asked the 17th Congress to pass a law abolishing labor contractualization as part of a campaign promise that he made in 2016 to end the practice of "endo" or "end of contract."  

The Philippine Independent Public Sector Employees Association defines “endo” and the similar colloquial term “5-5-5” as a labor practice “where workers are endlessly hired and fired every five months to prevent them from becoming permanent or regular employees, availing of mandatory bonuses and other benefits and joining a union.”

The bill is pending with the Committee on Labor and Employment.

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