Philippine Holidays and How To Deal With Paid Time Off

When you outsource to the Philippines, holidays can be confusing. What’s the difference between Regular and special holidays? Is it a working holiday? Non-working holiday?

Regular holidays are usually non-working holidays. They usually have a fixed date like New Year’s Day or Christmas. The only exceptions to this rule are National Heroes Day and the religious holidays of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Eid’l Fitr, and Eidul Adha. Filipino workers are usually given paid time off during regular holidays and if required to work, they would be entitled to 2x their rate for that day.

Special holidays can be non-working or working, depending on the proclamation by the Philippine government.  The “no work no pay” principle applies here. Workers can take the day off but they won’t be paid for the day.

But if they decide to work on that day, there’s a slight difference. For special working holidays, employees are only entitled to their basic salary. For special non-working holidays, they would be entitled to their basic salary plus an additional 30%.

To make it easier for you, we created a Google calendar below to help you keep track of all Philippine holidays and whether they’re regular or special holidays.


You can also integrate these holidays into your Google Calendar:

Now that you have the calendar, you’re probably wondering how to deal with these holidays. What about paid time off? What would be the best way to approach this?

Well, that mostly depends on your outsourcing arrangement. But most Filipino workers and businesses in the Philippines recognize the following paid leaves:

1. Sick Leaves. Most businesses offer up to 15 leaves per year and can be filed on the day itself.

2. Vacation Leaves. The number varies but on average ranges between 5 to 15 days per calendar year. This is an optional leave.

3. Service Incentive Leaves. This is an option offered when an employee doesn’t use up all his leaves. He can get the cash equivalent of the leaves that weren’t taken for that year. Or the employee would have the option to take an extended leave to use up all the paid leaves.

4. Maternity Leave. Women are eligible for 60 days maternity leave if they had a natural birth and 75 days if they gave birth through C-section. Their salaries should be covered if you and your employee make regular contributions to the Social Security System (SSS).

5. Paternity Leave. Philippine Law now allows fathers to take a paid leave up to seven days within a month of having a baby.

6. Parental Leave. The law allows single parents with sole custody of their children an additional 7 days of paid leave.

7. Rehabilitation Leave. This is provided for employees who have suffered some injury or illness. The extent of the leave would depend on the doctor’s recommendation and company policy.

Do All These Leaves Apply To Your Outsourced Employees?

Not really. The paid leaves you offer would depend on your work arrangement with your Filipino VA. In some cases, paid leaves would not be applicable for all. Let’s look at the common outsourcing scenarios and whether the paid leaves would apply.

VAs Paid By The Hour

Holidays: If you hire your workers on a per-hour basis and don’t need them to work over the holidays, you don’t need to offer them paid time off.

But if you do need them to work over the holidays, you might need to offer them additional incentives to do so. An option would be to increase their hourly rates if you need them to work over the holidays.

Paid Leaves:  If you want to be generous with your VA and offer any of the leaves presented above, you definitely can do that. But paid leaves don’t really apply to workers who are paid by the hour.

VAs Paid Per Project

Holidays: If the holiday falls within the agreed-upon timeline for the project, there’s no need to offer paid time off. When you pay per project, the contract is with the output, not with the dates.

But if you want your VAs to rush on a project and require working over the holidays, giving a bonus for early project completion would be fair compensation.

Paid Leaves: Same thing with virtual assistants paid by the hour. You can offer leaves or incentives.

Part-time and Full-time VAs Paid Per Month/Week (The Way)

Holidays: When you hire Filipino virtual assistants to work part-time or full-time, there are several ways you can approach this.

The Department of Labor recommends offering paid time off during regular holidays. But if you need your VAs to work over the holidays, you need to pay a little extra on top of the standard rate.

If it’s a regular holiday, you need to double their rate or 200%  for that day. If it’s a special holiday, you pay their normal rate plus 30% for that day.

Paid Leaves: We strongly recommend that you offer whatever paid leaves would be reasonable for you and your business. Most businesses start offering leaves when employees have worked for at least 6 months. In the case of Philippine companies, they would offer 1 sick leave and 1 vacation leave per month once the employee is done with their probationary status.

Talking About PTO with your Filipino VAs.

Most Filipino workers are reluctant to ask about leaves and paid time off. It’s best to talk about this with them as soon as possible to avoid misunderstanding. You have to agree on what they need to do.

Like for vacation leaves, how many days in advance do they need to inform you? What’s the longest amount of time they can take a leave? A week? Two weeks? Can they take the day off on special holidays?

Settling these issues early on will avoid a host of problems in the future.





    • Edward resurreccion says

      Its a experinced that existing maybe not or nor Such a long experinced in working even abroad can adopt to find a job this longging to rely to working profesionalizm ……excellent two tumbs up??

  1. Paquito T. Malinao says

    With the number of my experiences being employed such different companies, everything has no problem at all.



  2. Jens says

    What about the public holiday “Lailatul Isra Wal Mi Raj” on 13 Apr 2018 and 3 Apr 2019 – is it a regular or special holiday?
    Thanks in advance!

    • says

      As of the moment it is not recognized as a regular or special holiday. But we will update this post as soon as there’s news about it. Sometimes the Philippine government adds special holidays within the year.

      • Mae says

        what if this way mam..I use my vacation leave a day before the holiday..and they said they will not pay my two days holiday because I am absent a day before…but my absent is paid..because I have VL

        • Mandy K. Bateman says

          Mae, that is because it is customary in the US to not get holiday pay if you do not work the day before and sometimes even the day after the holiday. I simply communicate with your employer that it is not customary in the the Philippines to do that and ask for special allowances for you.

  3. syl says

    Is a combined paid time off a common practice in PH (i.e. 30 days of leave to cover for sick and vacation)


  4. Mariel says

    Hi… May I ask if I leave without pay on April 6, 2018(Friday) do I have my Holiday pay on April 9, 2018(monday, ligal holiday)? Btw, I work on weekdays only…

  5. Yesh says

    Are you going to add 14th of May as a special non-working holiday? It is the local government’s election day and I believe the president already announced it as such. Thank you!

  6. Gio says

    Hi, thanks for the info. What if i didn’t report for work last April 30 and didn’t file a Leave, then i reported on May 1? should i get double pay? or just regular pay for May 1? Thanks.

  7. Gerhoney Zambo says

    Goodday maam, i want to apply in your company im so much interested to work on it i hope maam you will consider me as part on it. Thank you☺

    • Jessica Marie says

      Hi Gerhoney,

      You can apply for any of the jobs posted here by signing up for an jobseeker account. It’s completely free and takes only minutes to apply. Having a jobseeker account also gives you access to thousands of new online jobs daily. To register, follow this link =>
      Once you’ve completed your profile, you can start searching for the job that you want here ===> The job posts contain all the information you need to apply for the position. Hope this helps. Take care and good luck on your job hunt!

  8. Estela Gaspi says

    I am looking for a part time job which is fit for my qualification and willing to do work from 9 in the evening up to 12 midnight only.

    I am looking forward to work with you and do my best as I can
    I am hoping from you to accept my request time work.


  9. chielyka says

    May I request for the detailed rule for hourly paid employees/daily wage. if they did not work on the day of the holiday but worked the day before or the day after are we required to pay them holiday pay?

  10. JP says

    If for example, two (2) consecutive holidays fall on a Tuesday and Wednesday, is it a fair employer policy if employees don’t get paid if they are absent before and after the consecutive holidays? Does the law provide “before-and-after” or “before-and-after policy” when it comes to being absent?

  11. Paweena says

    Hi there,

    I would like to ask about the rule of carryover vacation days. Does Philippine have the maximum days that employee can carryover to the next following year?


  12. Fred M Wahl says

    What should be done regarding Paid maternity leave?. As a virtual employee, neither the employee or employer paid SSS so SSS will not be making any payments. What should the foreign employer contribute?

    • says

      In the case of online workers, they actually have the option to self contribute. They can contribute to the SSS fully on their own or talk with the employer about sharing the contribution. The only difference here is unlike in businesses based in the Philippines, where the employers are the ones who transact with the SSS, for online workers, it will be the employees doing the transaction.

  13. prem says

    In Philippines, if an employee applies for unpaid leaves for 2 months, and if there are public holidays in that month, do the employees get paid for those holidays? In payroll, they should still receive salary for those holidays?

    • says

      Hi Prem!

      In Philippines, if an employee applies for unpaid leaves for 2 months, and if there are public holidays in that month, do the employees get paid for those holidays? – No. In most cases, the public holidays within that time would also be unpaid.

  14. Claire P says

    Hi Julia,

    Very informative article and helpful too. I like it, especially b’coz it has contained all the valuable lessons very efficiently.This is something really helpful.

  15. Shayne says

    Hi, Good day my employer did not gave my salary for December 24-25,2018, she applied the no work no pay, but he hired me for fixed salary a month. Can I complained about it because as a know regular and non-working holiday must be paid even the company is in private sector.

  16. Dennis nisortado says

    nasa labor code po ba ang before and after policy.? Pag hinde ka nakapasok ng before and after ng holiday hinde babayaran ang holiday mo?

  17. Marvz says

    If working on a holiday, instead of getting paid of the holiday premium, can this be substituted by an additional paid time off?

  18. Amie Kim says

    Does it follow that an employee who works on a legal holiday will have an additional of 100% of his/her basic salary apart from the 200% that he/she will receive if he/she works for the first 8 hrs. of that specific day? I am quite confused since an employee who doesn’t work on a regular/legal will still be entitled to 100% of his/her salary ..

  19. Rosana Aligonza says

    Hi! I want to apply for encoder.A mother with 2 children at home.Please help me for i don”t have any income. Awaiting for your reply.Thank you very much in advance.
    More Power.

  20. Sebastian says

    Is it typical for a VA who is paid a regular full-time salary to be paid for the regular holiday if they do not work? And if so, are those days in addition to vacation leaves or do those paid holidays come out of vacation leaves?

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