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What are the labor rules for bereavement leave in Manila?

Any advice appreciated. My full time Filipina virtual assistant father passed away. It is obviously a very sad/difficult time and I gave her 1 weeks paid leave to spend time with her family. I contacted her today to ask how she is and asked she is able to return to work on Monday (about 1.5 weeks after her loss). She said- “that she did not want to return to work until after his 40 days, it is is one of the philippines culture after someone died.” I obviously want to respect her and her culture and be sensitive. But I think it is not normal for someone to take so long off work and I have a business to run. Any insights would be appreciated

Gage Mclaughlin: @James Fritzgerald you are right. even if she is employed by a local company she is given only 1 week bereavement leave and is unpaid as per labor law. do what you think is necessary.

Evan Torres: My condolences to the bereaved family but I think taking an off that long is not quite right. Honestly, she’s lucky to have given a week leave with pay but to stretch it til the 40th day is too much already. She can actually return to work now and just take another leave, maybe a day or 2 on the 40th day of her father.

Remington Rowe: I would disagree, there IS definitely a 40 day grief period in many cultures. However how hard its practiced here varies. And its more common for Orthodox people.

Remington Rowe: There you go:
40th Day after death – Wikipedia

Remington Rowe: But NO. I would not recommend you give her those 40 days, unless its someone who has been with you for years and is a harda** loyal employee.

Jillian Lawrence: Just gave her an off during the 40th day of her late father..

Remington Rowe: Exactly. Because most people doesnt sit and actually grief for 40 days. Its the actual 40th day that matters IF anything.

Jillian Lawrence: true..thats how it is in a local way.. 1 week is enough, she needs to move on and go back to work, ir choose to be down within 40 days and no work at all. 😂

Nylah Estrada: this is the perfect answer to his query….

Jillian Lawrence: Nylah Estrada: thanks

Andrea Fisher: 1 week leave and 1 day leave on the 40th day.

Sara Wright: In that case you can hire a reliever and dont give her a paid leave for her extension. After 40 days if you want, you can hire her again or let her go back to work. 🙂

Phoenix Olson: The 40 days is not an issue. It’s a grieving period but she does not have to be there the whole time. What you did was generous. Unfortunateky, she is taking advantage.

Max Wallace: Most Filipinos grieve longer. However, you also need to tell her that you have business to run and you both need to be professional. Btw, bereavement leave here in the Philippines is paid.

Remington Rowe: Im not so sure that this is stated in the Labor code though.

Max Wallace: Unfortunately, I’ve used that paid bereavement leave when my father passed away last year.

Remington Rowe: Max Wallace: But that would be on the company policy, and not the actual labor code. If I am wrong, I would gladly like to see the code specifying paid bereavement leave.

Max Wallace: Remington Rowe: btw, honestly I’m not into reading the labor code for the bereavement. I’m kinda emotional when it comes to death regardless. Thanks

Charlie Rogers: Hi. Just want to add here. Based on the labor code, 3 days paid bereavement leave then after that, the employee can use the vacation leaves alloted. Then for the rest of the days, unpaid leaves.

Remington Rowe: I wonder how that is written though. Because if what you claim is true. If someone has let’s say 30 vacation leaves. As that’s something the company can provide upon their discretion on top of the five laid leaves in labor code. That means the employ…See More

Remington Rowe: And I still would like to see where bereavement leave is in the labor code. Because I’ve yet to find it.

Henry Young: You are being Taken advantaged of.

Kameron Rodgers: Thanks for your thoughts everyone. Much appreciated

Sage Fleming: 1 week is the normal practice here. 5 working days. YES there is a 40 day period to let the soul do what it needs to finish before the Family gather again to say their Final byebyes. It is normal and quite expected that you return to Work. Your Assistant is taking Advantage of you. Ask that she Return to Work. Do you pay her remotely or through an agent? It Will be more difficult for you if you pay directly. If she wont Come back to Work then I’d let her Go. She WillDo it again. But it is your call as to How valuable she is and or replacable. If through an agent who manages her mandatory Benefits here they should issue her a return to Work memo. If she doesnt she Is then issued a notice that she is Awol.

Braelyn Bowman: What she said.

Priscilla Grant: Bereavement leave is 5 days at most

Valeria Ferguson: You won’t see her again. Move on and hire another person.

Lorenzo Kelly: Yup, what everyone said.

Faith Mccoy: #Next

Mabel Shelton: As others have written already, she is trying to take advantage of you. I just want to add that if she had been employed by a company, her employer would also ask for a copy of the death certificate before granting paid bereavement leave. Sadly, over the years I’ve heard of some domestic staff taking time off over phantom “relatives” passing away, because they know that most foreign employers will not ask for a death certificate or evidence of family relationship

Rylie Klein: Companies ask for death certificate and paid bereavement leave is granted only up to immediate family members. Parents/siblings/spouse/children

Trinity Martinez: With the given circumstances its difficult to judge someone’s motive. This has happened a couple of times with us especially in those days wherein my wife needed assistance the most but our domestic help always came back, however she never took a leave that long. A week’s paid leave is fine but my advice would be to hire another one temporarily and set her expectations accordingly. Wait for your first assistant to come back and then take a call as needed. This way your first assistant would also understand your situation and your work also does not get impacted. Hope this helps..

Nicholas Russell: Hey James, I am just wondering if I could send you a message to ask a question. 😊

Rowan Curry: Yup she’s not coming back, prolly doing interviews etc already. Seen it happen way to often.

Esther Mason: You are nice to give her a week paid time off. I will give her one week to morn and taking care stuffs, and one week to relax. It’s time to get back to work. Unless she can’t cope with things easily . You need to hire someone else.

Malaysia Harmon: Quote “The House leader lamented that while vacation leaves are granted on top of the other leave benefits such as paternity and maternity and sick leaves, no leave is granted as a matter of right on the part of the employees whose immediate family member passed away.” House Bill 6043…aka Bereavement Leave Act of 2017
10-day bereavement leave with full pay proposed for employees

Remington Rowe: So it was proposed but has not passed?I’m too tired to read the news right now sorry.So am I right when I say it’s not in the labor code at all as of now ?

Eden Parsons: I suggest never rely on one.I run business and I know the life there.advance salary and days off.someone passed away or not you need back up.

Alondra Gross: I am a Filipina, grew up there and left the country when I was 21 years old. I know that we mourn for 40 days but I assumed that she has a contract that she sign upon employment. When my brother died I did not even go home and take funeral leave because I will not leave my work under staff. My boss ask me what my plan is. I think you are too nice

Maddox Hart: Get a new VA. 🙂 There’s a huge community of VAs here in the Philippines

Charlotte Matthews: yep, get a new VA… sexy VA who do striptease

Madelyn Kelly: HIRE ME INSTEAD,!

Charlotte Matthews: how much do you pay your VA?

Myla Webb: Just for the record. During the wake one to two days presence is required. The actual burial is not mandatory because most people here are employed and it’s understood if working during the internment. Presence is appreciated but not required for the 30 day observation. The one year observance is more celebratory than anything else. So again it can be missed by anyone other than immediate family…. I’m just saying. I’ve lived here for 5yrs in the province and this is what the local People shared with me to help with my understanding. Just like in the USA employees try and bend steel… 😊

Benjamin Newman: hire a new one. Its obvious that she is taking advantage of you.

Braelyn Bowman: Yah .. that’s a bit much. One of my key staffs grandfather died unexpectedly, he took the day off it happened, then a week later 2 days bereavement as as most funerals are on the weekend he took them off to help the family prepare (so Thursday and Friday).

Milo Yates: Get rid…40 days is 8 working weeks holiday ffs !

Thomas Park: It seems to be the practice in the personal facets of life here but surely not in business, professional and educational facets and absolutely not related to the number of Days-Off, Paid Vacation and Grievance Days-Off employees have earned. The company I worked at here had Grievance Days-Off – They are quantified and calculated with how long the employee has been employed and likewise how many Days-Off have been earned.’Twas very considerate of the company actually, agreed to trade Days-Off earned with Grievance. If none then well “pasensiya na ha” (Apologies) – Technically, you must return to your duties … It’s not like you’ll be working 24-7, and it’s not like you can’t grieve. Submission of Death Certificate to HR is required.

Dakota Curtis: Im sorry to hear that..i agree on the 40 day mourn.but she is dealing a big loss on her part now and may not be able to concentrate of if she is back to work.if you can make arrangement to her that she is on leave after 1 week..paid ..then the next 40 days is without pay.if she is indespensable.and in the meantime u can hire a temp VA.till she returns..if this doesnt work..get a life..hire a new one..On my part..death in family is a huge issue to deal specially if they’re parents pass on.Just giving my piece.

Sara Wright: Exactly my thoughts 🙂

Remington Rowe: Sure people can be sad. But effectively losing employees for 1/12 of the year is unsustainable. And one could argue that parents demise is on the same level as siblings and children. So for obvious reasons, allowing people be off that much won’t work. Now this is “just” VA. But apply the same mechanics to a corporation and having people of months at a time. It would simply not function.

Elliana Osborne: Read me. I’m an HR, bereavement leave is just a few days with pay. Our culture is that on the 40th day, there will be another mass to set prayer of their passing. But they can’t be on paid leave for 40days. That’s too much. Sending you this file for reference. I hope this helps.

Remington Rowe: Thanks. But that file is the company policy. What was discussed was what the labor code mandates

Trinity Martinez: Dont think this would even fall under the labor codes unless the VA is officially contracted with the employer and is filing taxes on the income she is earning. Don’t think that’s the case here and this is most likely a cash in hand job like any other domestic help (Please pardon my comment if I am wrong, dont mean any offence to anyone). I think James’s concern here is more from an ethics/culture standpoint wherein the VA’s availability w.r.t to the 40 days leave is in question. He has already paid the VA for a week’s leave. Obviously, paying for 40 days is absolutely out of question.

Ashley Wong: Pm sent

Charlotte Matthews: If she’s a sexy VA, give her the leave and find a temp on upwork it’s hard to find sexy VAs nowadays. If not, then let her go.

Mateo Salazar: There is 40days but she needs to return back to work aftwr the bereavement leave.

Valentina Caldwell: Funeral expenses are a burden for most Filipinos so extra cash is usually appreciated. Taking the 40th day off is perfectly acceptable but many colleagues at my office return to work after a week or so after the death.

Esther Mason: She will come back to work in 40 days for sure. She is out of money. She could have find a relieve person taking that long day off.

Eden Parsons: You can give her banana ..

Milani Norton: I say agree on a certain reasonable time.. she wants ample time to mourn? maybe 2 weeks off? but not 40 days. yes you have a business to run also. there should be a reasonable compromise on both parties. If she does not want to, then find someone else. You don’t want to set a precedent anyway.

Victoria Baker: 40 days is too long. Perhaps, what she meant is to heave a leave on the 40th day

Jorge Chavez: If she’s in the province it make sense to save the transportation. After the burial they all go and visit the grave at the 40es day. That’s I’m families who care about their family members.


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