Employers in the private sector have been encouraged by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to release the 13th month pay of their workers as early as possible.

The 13th month pay, according to DOLE, “shall be paid to rank-and-file employees in the private sector regardless of their position, designation, or employment status, irrespective of the method by which their wages are paid, provided that they have worked for at least one month during the calendar year.”

Also entitled to the benefit are rank-and-file employees who are paid on a piece-rate basis, fixed, or guaranteed wage plus commission; with multiple employers; resigned; terminated from employment; or those who were on maternity leave and received salary differential.

Based on Labor Advisory 25, series of 2023, the minimum 13th-month pay shall not be less than 1/12 of the total basic salary earned by an employee within the calendar year computed as follows: total basic salary / 12 months = proportionate 13th-month pay.

Under the Labor Code of the Philippines and Presidential Decree 851, the 13th month pay is mandatory and it must be given on or before December 24.

DOLE said it would not allow requests for exemption or deferment of its payment, and that they are expecting all employers to submit their respective compliance report on or before Jan. 15, 2024.

“The report shall contain the name of the establishment, address, principal product or business, total employment, the total number of workers benefitted, the amount granted per employee, and the total amount of benefits granted,” it added.

The DOLE Regional/Field/Provincial Office having jurisdiction over the workplace will monitor compliance with this general labor standard.IMT