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 Onlinejobs.ph 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.