How do you get paid and how often?
This is one of the first questions I asked my sister when she introduced me to online work. I’ve been working for an IT company for 5 years at that time, and I found it hard to imagine how I’d get paid if I don’t have an office with a payroll officer that I can talk to.
Now, almost a decade later, working online has become my career. It has allowed me to provide for my family. I’ve learned plenty and gained more skills than I ever thought possible. I get paid every month, plus 13th Month, and the occasional bonus for good work.
Yep, Filipino online workers get paid.
When (or how often) do you get paid?
We get this question a lot here at Onlinejobs.ph. Most people associate online work with freelance work. But it isn’t just freelancing. In online work, there are also project-based workers and those who have employment arrangements. How you’re paid can also vary depending on your work arrangement, where your employer is based, and what payment platforms are available to you.
If you are a project-based worker, payment often depends on the terms agreed in your work contract.
- Some prefer to be paid before the project starts, either in full or partial.
- Some get paid when the project is done.
- Partial payments can also be made on certain points of the project timeline or when milestones are met.
For hourly workers, time tracking software like TimeProof accounts for how much time they’ve spent working. How much you are paid depends on how much you charge per hour and how many hours you make.
- worked a certain number of hours, or
- reached an agreed quota, or
- according to a schedule (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly).
But here at Onlinejobs.ph, we offer mainly full-time jobs that pay month after month. A fixed monthly salary is stated and you know exactly what amount you’ll be getting. The workers get paid either:
- every week (this is usually done for new hires),
- twice a week, or
- once a month.
Do we get paid in dollars, pounds, etc?
The currency and amount depends on the arrangement and preferences of both the worker and client. Sometimes the amount and the currency is already stated in the job post. Sometimes it’s subject to negotiation during job interview or recruitment. And sometimes, it’s determined by the payment system you’ll be using.
Payments: Then and Now
It’s actually easier than most people think. In the early days of outsourcing, we would need to have a bank account. Ideally it would be a dollar account so clients can transfer payment. There were also cash transfer services like Western Union or Xoom but as time passed, it started having a lot of restrictions regarding cash transfers.
Then online payment systems came along like Paypal and made it easier for clients to pay.
But Filipino workers didn’t really benefit much from it. Because of AMLA restrictions, there was a limit to how much you could receive before you account was flagged. You had to meet a certain cash limit to withdraw your money. And it’s not recognized by all banks. So if you’re an online worker from the provinces, sometimes you would to travel just to get your salary.
There’s also the issue of the exchange rate. It’s usually unfavorable towards the peso and online workers often have to shoulder fees from the payment system, the currency exchange system, and the local bank handling the transaction. So there were a lot of cases when Filipino virtual assistants would get a lot less than the rates that they were expecting.
We at Onlinejobs.ph are aware of this and have worked for years to find a solution.
So we set up a payment system that would respond to the needs of both employers and jobseekers and came up with EasyPay. It’s a payment system that comes with your Onlinejobs.ph account. The great thing about it is it allows you to create an invoice within your jobseeker account. And even if you’re already using PayPal or Payoneer, you can easily integrate it with the EasyPay System.
What happens when I don’t get paid?
There are cases wherein online workers don’t receive their expected payments on time.
Most of the time, the problem is that employers simply forgot. So if you want to be an online worker, invoicing your client regularly (and early) is one way of ensuring that you will get paid on time.
Another cause of this problem is scheduling issues. It takes time to process payments, especially with bank holidays. So sometimes payments could be delayed.
In some cases, it’s a misunderstanding with the contracts. This is often the case especially if the employer and the worker are in different time zones. For example, when both parties agree that payment should be done on the 15th, the employer might think that he would pay on the 15th, his timezone, and the VA thinks he will be receiving his salary on the 15th, Philippine time.
It can also be disagreements on the time spent working, the amount of work that’s been delivered, or the quality of work submitted. That’s why it’s important to be clear on what both parties expect early on. Don’t just assume that you and your client understand each other based on the general terms. Be as detailed as possible. It’s an uncomfortable conversation but it will help avoid future disagreements.
Last but not least, yes, there are cases when jobseekers are scammed. We have successfully eliminated most known scammers through our quality checks but unfortunately, some still manage to get into our database. That’s why it’s helpful when jobseekers report these incidents to email@example.com.
Once reported, we will launch an investigation and mediation process. Best-case scenario, the issue is resolved and the worker continues to work and gets paid. The worst-case scenario is that the employer is proven to be a scammer and he is banned from the database.
Do you have more questions about online jobs that you want to ask? Leave your questions in the comments below and we just might answer then in our next blog posts!
Julia has been working for OnlineJobs.ph since 2012, first as a writer and now as its social media manager and content development specialist. She also founded the Davao Virtual Assistants Association, the biggest VA association in Davao City.
She’s a full-time wife and mom and volunteers her time as an internet rights advocate.