Forced Labour

Prohibition on Forced and Compulsory Labour

Under the Employment Act, 2010 defines forced labour as all work or service which is exacted from any person under the threat of a penalty and for which the person has not offered himself voluntarily. However, it does not include labour required in consequence of a sentence or order of a court; required of any person while the person is lawfully detained and that which is reasonably necessary in the interest of hygiene at the place at which that person is detained; required of a member of a disciplined force as the member's duties as such or, in the case of a person who has conscientious objections to service as a member of a naval, military or air force, required by law of such person in place of such service; required during any period of public emergency or calamity which threatens the life and well-being of the community; or reasonably required as part of normal communal or other civic obligations.

A person who exacts, imposes, causes or allows forced labour for his benefit or for the benefit of any other person is guilty of an offence and is liable to be fined not exceeding P2,000 or be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 18 months or to both.

Any person who while trafficking of humans, subjects a person to slavery or forced labor, commits an offense of a fine not exceeding P1,000,000 or imprisonment for not longer than 30 years or both. Any person who buys and engages in the service of a trafficked person, is liable to a fine not exceeding P100,000 or to an imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 years or both. On a subsequent conviction, there is to be a fine not exceeding P400,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 20 years.

Source: § 2 & 70 of the Employment Act, 2010 and 9 & 12 of the Anti-human Trafficking Act, 2014 

Freedom to Change Jobs and Right to Quit

An indefinite term employment contract may be terminated by either employer or employee where the wages are payable for a period not exceeding a day, at the close of any day's work without notice. Where the wages are payable in respect of any period exceeding a day, the employment contract may be terminated at any time as long as notice has been given to the other party. Where the wages are payable for a period exceeding one day but less than a week, then notice has to be at least of one day. Where the wages are payable for period more than one week but less than two weeks but the employee has been in continuous service for 2-5 years, then the minimum length of notice is to be two weeks. Where the wages are payable in respect for a period exceeding one week but not more than a month and the employee has been in continuous employment for 5-10 years, then the minimum length of the notice is to be one month. Where wages are payable in respect for a period exceeding a day and the employee has been in continuous employment for 10 years or more, the minimum length of notice is to be six weeks.

Source: § 10 of the Employment Act, 2010

Inhumane Working Conditions

The general working hours are 8 hours a day and 48 hours a week. The overtime hours are 14 hours per week. Thus, the maximum working hours per week, inclusive of overtime, are 62 hours per week. The Minister for Labour may declare that 14-hour overtime restriction does not apply to employees in some industries or undertakings. Similarly, a ministerial order may prescribe the maximum number of hours which may be worked as overtime over any given period.

Source: § 95, 97 & 105 of the Employment Act, 2010

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