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1: Name of Decree

Labor Code of the Philippines

Art. 2: Date of Effectivity

six months after its promulgation


Labor Legislation; Definition

consists of statutes, regulations and jurisprudence governing the relations between

capital and labor, by providing for certain employment standards and a legal
framework for negotiating, adjusting and administering those standards and other
incidents of employment

Labor Legislation is divided into two:


Labor Standards
provide the least terms and conditions of employment that employers must
comply with and to which employees are entitled as a matter of legal right
the minimum requirements prescribed by existing laws, rules and regulations
relating to wages, hours of work, cost-of-living allowance and other monetary and
welfare benefits, including occupational, safety and health standards
Labor Relations
defines the status, rights and duties and the institutional mechanisms that govern
the individual and collective interactions, of employers, employees or their
issues about employment tenure and termination fall in this area of labor


labor standards and labor relations overlap (in reality)

Ex. grievance machinery (the in house method to resolve usually an employees
complaint) is a labor relations mechanism, but the subject of the complaint is labor
standards such as unpaid overtime work or a disciplinary action.
Figuratively, labor standards is the material or the substance to be processed while
labor relations is the mechanism that processes the substance
Book 1-4 covers Labor Standards; Book 5-6 covers Labor Relations
Labor Relations Law is simply called Labor Law in most US universities
Our Labor Standards Law corresponds to US employment law

two terms are practically the same; interchangeable

some academics use labor relations to refer to situations involving unionized
companies and industrial relations for non-unionized ones, or labor relations to refer to
matters internal to the labor sector and industrial relations to management-labor



broader than employee

may refer to self employed people and those working in the service and under the
control of another, regardless of rank, title or nature of work
ex. manager, messenger
Under Art. 13 of the Labor Code, any member of the labor force (whether employed or
unemployed) is a worker


salaried person working for another who controls or supervises the means, manner or
method of doing the work
employment relationship is expounded in Book III of this work

Social Legislation Vs Labor Law

Social Legislation are those laws that provide particular kinds of protection or benefits
to society or segments thereof in furtherance of social justice
In that sense, labor laws are necessarily social legislation
Labor laws are social legislation but not all social legislation are labor laws
Concept of social legislation is broader than labor law

Social Justice

understood as physical toil although it does not necessarily exclude the application of
skill, thus there is skilled and unskilled labor

broader than labor

covers all forms of physical or mental exertion, or both combined, for the attainment of
some object other than recreation or amusement per se


Is Labor different from Industrial relations?

the familiar knowledge of any art or science, united with readiness and dexterity in
execution or performance or in the application of the art or science to practical

it is the aim of labor laws

it is neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism nor anarchy but the
humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State
so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be
approximated (Calalang v Williams)
means the promotion of the welfare of the people, the adoption by the Government of
measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the component elements of
society through maintenance of roper economic and social equilibrium in the
interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the adoption
of measures legally justifiable, or extra constitutionally, through the exercise of powers
underlying the existence of all governments, on the time honored principe of salus
populi est suprema lex
it is both a juridical principle (it prescribes equality of the people, rich or poor, before
the law) and a societal goal (means the attainment of decent quality of life of the
masses through humane productive efforts)
social justice does not require making the rich poor, but, by lawful process, making the
rich share with government the aim to realize social justice


Constitution guarantees equitable sharing of the social and material goods on the
basis of efforts exerted in their production (Guido v Rural Progress Administration)
Constitution gave it fundamental significance as provided in Sec 9 and 10 of Art. II and
in Art. XIII of the 1987 Constitution
concept of social justice transcends the economic sphere
political equality is likewise a goal of social justice

While labor is entitled to a just share in the fruits of production, the enterprise has an
equally important right not only to reasonable returns on investment but also to
expansion and growth
Private sector plays an indispensable role while labor is a primary economic force
Constitutional outlook suggests a balance treatment of workers and employers

Private Enterprise
Constitutional rights and mandates

Labor Code is an instrument to carry out constitutional mandates like other laws
initiated by Congress
In case of conflict between the provisions of the Labor Code and the Constitution, the
latter prevails
Sec 18 Art II of the 1987 Constitution declares as a state policy: The state affirms
labor as a primary social economic force. It shall protect the rights of workers and
promote their welfare.
In the article on social justice, the Constitution commands: :The state shall afford
protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full
employment and equality if employment opportunities for all

Shared Responsibility between works and employers

Guaranteed Basic Rights of workers enumerated in the Constitution (Sec 3 Art XIII)

to organize themselves
to conduct collective bargaining or negotiation with management
to engage in peaceful concerted activities including to strike in accordance with law
to enjoy security of tenure
to work under humane conditions
to receive a living wage
to participate in policy and decision making process affecting their rights and benefits
as may be provided by law

Other Constitutional provisions concerning the rights and welfare of workers (Azucena,
2013, p12-14)

Sec 8 Art III

Sec 2(3), (5), (6) Art IX-B
Sec 4,5,6 Art XIII
Sec 9 Art XIII
Sec 14 Art III
Art. VI
Sec 2 Art XII
Sec 15 Art XII
Sec 18 Art XVIII
Sec 16 Art XVIII

State is mandated to regulate the relations between workers and employers

promoted by the preferential; use of voluntary modes of settling disputes, including

conciliation and to enforce their mutual compliance therewith to foster industrial peace
Court cannot favor one party (be it labor or management) in arriving at just solution to
a controversy if the party concerned has no valid support of its claim.

Police Power as the Basis

While social justice is the raison detre of labor laws, their basis or foundation is the
police power of the State.
It is the power of the government to enact laws, within constitutional limits, to promote
order, safety, health, morals and general welfare of society
Constitution foes not secure the liberty to conduct a business so as to injure the public
at large or any substantial group

Birth of the Labor Code

!987 Constitution is characterized as especially pro-labor for the rights of workers and
employees have acquires new dimensions while some concepts have been

Balancing of Rights in Private Enterprise System

defined by Sec 4 of TESDA Law as and economic system under which property
of all kinds can be privately owned and in which individuals, alone or in
association with another, can embark on a business activity
included industrial, agricultural, or agro-industrial establishments engaged to the
production, manufacturing, processing, repacking or assembly of goods including
service-oriented enterprises

writing of the labor code began under the leadership of Blas Ople (Father of the
Labor Code)
not only consolidated the existing legislation but also reconciled them t the needs
of economic development and justice
this aims was the prescription of Comprehensive Employment Strategy Mission
of the International Labor Organization that the elevation of real wages, incomes
and living standards was a function of employment generation and economic
road to the approval of the Code was long and tortuous
project had to gather contributions from the different bureaus of DOLE, IBP, UP
Law Center etc.
After 7 times of drafting, the Code was ratified by a National Tripartite Congress
submitted to th President on May 1, 1973
undergone further revisions
it was signed into law as PD No. 442
it was announced to take effect six months after (Marcos regime)
months of silence followed
when it resurfaced, it was loaded with extensive changes through PD No. 570-A


decree was made public, signed and declared to take effect on November 1,
no prior announcement, publication (it was an instance of dictatorial lawmaking)

Principles Underlying the Code






Labor relations must be made both responsive and responsible to national

Labor laws or labor relations during a period of national emergency must substitute
rationality for confrontational therefore, strikes or lockouts give away to rational
process which is arbitration
Laggard justice in the labor field is injurious to the workers, the employers and the
public labor justice can be made expeditious without sacrificing due process
Manpower development and employment must be regarded as major dimension of
labor policy, for there can be no real equality of bargaining power under conditions of
severe mass unemployment
There is global labor market available to qualified Filipinos, especially those who are
unemployed or whose employment is tantamount to unemployment because of their
very little earnings
Labor laws must command adequate resources and acquire capable machinery for
effective and sustained implementation; otherwise, they merely breed resentment not
only of the workers but also of the employers. When labor laws cannot be enforced,
both the employers and the workers are penalized, and only a corrupt few- those who
are in charge of implementation may get the reward they do not deserve
There should be popular participation in national policy-making through what is now
called tripartism

Industrial Peace Act (RA No. 875)


law governing labor-management relations

hailed as Magna Carta of Labor
modeled after the US Labor-Management Relations Act of 1974, in turn,
amended the National Labor Relations Act or the Wagner Act
most of the basic principles of NLR Act was carried over to IPA and now,
indirectly to the Labor Code

Blue Sunday Law


use to forbid commercial, industrial or agricultural enterprises to open on any

Sunday, Christmas Day, New Years Day, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday
Rationale: Sundays and legal holidays are set aside by law as days of rest
Yet, the Labor Code has made Sunday an ordinary working day

Termination Pay Law


Some Labor Laws before the Passage of the Code

created the Court of Industrial Relations (CIR), precursor of NLRC under PD 32

its task was to investigate, decide and settle all disputes between employers and

enumerated the just causes for terminating an employment without a definite

period and allowed employers to separate an employee by simply serving a 15day notice per year of service, or instead of notice by paying an equivalent
separation pay
Security of tenure is now protected by the Constitution and the Labor Code

Significance of Foreign Decisions

there were some 60 pieces of labor laws in effect when the Labor Code project began
although most of them are already abrogated by the Code, some are still relevant
because the rationale behind them has been carried over to the Code and many court
rulings about them remain controlling

Employers Liability Act (Act No. 1874)


enacted on June 19, 1908

Act No. 2549


What is the Labor Code?

prohibited payment of wage in non cash form

Act No. 2071

prohibiting slavery or involuntary servitude

RA No. 1054

requiring emergency medical treatment for employees

Commonwealth Act No. 103

American court decisions influence our court rulings (as evidenced by the Industrial
Peace Act)
where our labor statutes are based upon or patterned after statutes in foreign
jurisdiction, the decisions of the high courts in those jurisdictions construing and
interpreting the Act should receive the careful attention of our court in the application
of our law

Labor Code (PD No. 442, as amended) is a set of substantive and procedural laws
that prescribe the principal rights and responsibilities of employers, employees and
other industrial participants, as well as the role of the Government, in employment and
related activities, so as to institute social justice
it lays down the fundamental rights and correlative obligations of employers and
employees to each other such as those about work days and work hours, wage etc
those rights are enforceable through procedures prescribed in the Code
It is not one-sided. It is not meant to protect a sector to oppress another. It protects the
interests of both the employer and employees (based from Art. 1 of Bill of Rights)

Labor in Labor Code

viewed in its broad ordinary sense as work and work relationship, referring to any
economically productive application of physical, mental and material resources.


simply means work and does not exclude the work of business owners and managers


Labor Code speaks of Myriad Concepts

such as employment relationship, collective bargaining and employment termination

Labor Code will become unintelligible if it is concerned only with the needs and rights
of employees as if there were no employers
in any industrial relations system, there are 3 actors: employers, employees and the
government agencies
Labor Code deals with the concerns of the three industrial relations

Context of Labor Code is Societal

Although the language of the code is legal, its objective is socio economic: the well
being of the people
Labor Code and laws are instruments of socio economic development
its mission is to uplift the living condition of the masses
it is not meant to make the rich richer and the poor poorer
however, labor law should not punish the rich just because they are rich, but the law
should temper greed or rechannel excessive wealth (by shared growth which is by
reducing poverty and ensuring that the poor share substantially in the benefits of
economic growth)

Related Laws

Civil Code
describes basically the nature of labor-management relations (Art. 1700, 1701)
proscribes involuntary servitude (Art 1703)
contains provisions regarding wages, house helpers, and injuries sustained by
relating to awards of damages, interpretation of collective bargaining agreement,
validity of a waiver, preference of workers claims and fixed period employment


Revised Penal Code

crimes against public order, against persons, property or honor comes into play
alongside with labor laws in labor disputes
punishes the use of violence or threats by either employer or employee (Art. 289)


Special Laws
includes SSS law, GSIS law, Agrarian Reform law, 13th month pay law, Magna
Carta for Public Health Workers etc

International Aspect



International Commitments
being a member of ILO, the Phils. subscribes to the fundamental principles on
which the ILO is based:
a) labor is not a commodity
b) freedom of expression and association are essential to sustained
c) that poverty anywhere constitutes a danger to prosperity everywhere
d) the war against want requires to be carried on with unrelenting vigor
within each nation and by continuous and concerted international effort
in which the representatives of workers and employers, enjoying equal
status with those of governments, join with them in free discussion and
democratic decision with a view to the promotion of the common
As ILO member, the Phils. is committed to pursue programs that will achieve
certain objectives including:
a) full employment and the raising of standards of living
b) policies in regard to wages and earnings, hours and other condition of
work to ensure a just share of the fruits of progress to all
c) effective recognition of the right of collective bargaining, the
cooperation of management and labor in the continuous improvement
of productive efficiency and the collaboration of workers and employers
in the preparation and application of social and economic measures
d) extension of social security measures to provide a basic income to all
in need of such protection
ILO Core Conventions
responsibility of each member-state t ensure that the necessary implements for
the improvement of individual and collective conditions of work are embedded in
their respective national legislation
8 Core Conventions:
a) Forced Labor Convention
b) Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention
c) Right t Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention
d) Equal Remuneration Convention
e) Abolition of Forced Labor Convention
g) Minimum Age Convention
h) Worse Forms of Child Labor Convention
Ratification generally needed; exception
ILO conventions are binding only for those member-states that ratify them
However, ILO adopted a Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at
Work concerning an obligation of all ILO members to respect and promote the
fundamental rights even if they have not ratified the conventions
Phils. has ratified more than 30 ILO Conventions including the 8 Core

International Labor Organization (ILO)

Philippines is a member of ILO
it is the UN specialized agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and
internationally recognized human and labor rights
formulates international labor standards in the form of Conventions and
Recommendations setting minimum standards of basic labor rights: free
association, right to organize, collective bargaining etc.
its essential characteristic is tripartism (composed not only of government
representatives but also of employers and workers organizations