DSLaw Labor Law Series
ARE EMPLOYEES ENTITLED TO HOLIDAY PAY ON LABOR DAY AMID ECQ? [Understanding the Payment of Wages for May 1, 2020, a Regular Holiday, under DOLE Labor Advisory No. 15 Series of 2020]?
Employees presumably look forward to regular holidays because they are given the opportunity to take time off from work and yet still get paid without having to break sweat. For those employees required to work on holidays, they are also rewarded with double pay for a single day’s work.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, one may ask, are employees entitled to holiday pay on Labor Day amid the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ?)?
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Labor Advisory No. 15 Series of 2020 provides for the answer.
Based on the said Advisory, the general rule on holiday pay still applies. Thus, employees who do not report to work are still entitled to their daily wage. On the other hand, those employees obliged to work on a holiday, whether in the office or at home, are entitled to double pay. 
However, by way of exception, due consideration is likewise given to employers who are grappling with the COVID-19 situation. Thus, the Advisory further states:
Due to the existence of a national emergency arising from the COVID-19 outbreak, employers are allowed to defer payment of the holiday pay on 1 May 2020 until such time the emergency situation has been abated and the normal operations of the establishment are in place.
Establishments which totally closed during the ECQ, employers are exempted from payment of the holiday pay.
This advisory appears to be consistent with the State’s policy to maintain the delicate balance between the welfare of the employees and the right of the employers. Nevertheless, we suggest that while the DOLE has devised these mechanisms to help cushion and alleviate the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, we urge the employers to provide more than what the law requires in keeping with the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility.
 Labor day was declared a regular holiday per Presidential Proclamation No. 845 (2019).
 Presidential Decree 441,As Amended [LABOR CODE], art 94(b).
How Can We Help?
Our lawyers at Delloro Saulog Law Offices (DSLaw) can help you understand your rights and obligations as employers or employees especially in view of the peculiar circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are here to help both employers and employees work in synchrony to ensure the continuity of business and commerce in these challenging times.
As the world honors all the workers today, DS Law joins the global community in saluting all the workers for their invaluable contribution to the society. Most especially, we tip our hats to all the medical and health workers and other frontliners who courageously risk their own lives on a daily basis in order that we may hurdle and overcome this pandemic sooner rather than later.
Happy Labor Day!
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