Contractualization: Is it legal and just?
CONTRACTUALIZATION, a word we read in the newspapers and a topic of discussion in media when the employment of Filipino workers comes to fore in commercial and industrial operations. Contractualization is the practice of hiring a worker continuously for a period not exceeding five months for a specific job, after which a new worker is hired to take his/her place to do the same job for the next five months, after which another worker is again replaced with a new hire (he/she could be somebody who had been hired for the same job in the past) who will do the job in the next five months as well. The cycle goes on and on because the same job or task remains to be done.
The five-month period of employment of a worker is a deliberate act of the employer. It is done to circumvent the six-month probationary period, after which a worker, under the law, qualifies to be appointed as a regular employee and paid the regular worker’s wage. As a regular employee or worker, he/she is also entitled to enjoy vacation leaves, sick leaves, maternity leaves; SSS and Pag-Ibig membership; retirement and all other privileges a regular employee is entitled to under the law.
To make it easy for employers to hire temporary workers for regular jobs, there are employment contractors who supply companies with contractual workers, and these workers are shunted from one company to another. They even appear to be employed by the employment contractors. The provisions of the Labor Code are flagrantly violated.
Do we now have a new Labor Code that allows employers to circumvent the six-month probationary period of employment? If the president of the Philippines and the labor secretary allow contractualization of labor because this is fair and just to the Filipino worker, I stand corrected.
—APOLONIO G. RAMOS, 42 Mindanao St., Marikina City
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