Labor group Federation of Free Workers (FFW) hailed President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for signing the Caregiver Welfare Act into law, “marking a significant advancement in labor rights and social justice in the Philippines.”
Caregiver Welfare Act or Republic Act No. 11965 is “An Act Institutionalizing Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Caregivers in the Practice of their Occupation.”
“This act not only provides much-needed legal protection to our caregivers but also uplifts their dignity and acknowledges their invaluable contribution to our society,” said FFW in a statement.
It seeks to benefit caregivers in terms of employment status recognition, regulated working hours and overtime, better wage, among others.
The new law will transition domestic caregivers’ employment status from an “independent contractors” to employees with full coverage under labor standards law.
In addition, working hours for domestic caregivers will be based on employment contracts, including entitlement to overtime pay for services rendered beyond eight hours a day.
Caregivers will also be guaranteed a minimum wage not less than the applicable regional minimum wage and a night shift differential pay rate.
The new law applies to all caregivers employed in private homes, nursing or care facilities, and other residential settings within the Philippines, whether they were hired directly or through Public Employment Services Office (PESO) and Private Employment Agencies.
“It is a step towards fulfilling the promise of social justice enshrined in our constitution and enunciated by President Ramon Magsaysay, ‘those who have less in life must have more in law,” said FFW.
The labor group also urged caregivers to form a workers’ association and join FFW “for mutual help and protection.”