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DOLE: No MSME exemptions for 13th-month pay

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No employer is exempted from paying their employees their 13th-month pay, even if they have only been working for the company for a month, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) stressed Saturday.

Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma told Super Radyo dzBB in an interview the 13th-month pay must be given on or before December 24, 2022.

“Although we know that the companies, especially those in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) category, have barely recovered from the pandemic, I just want to say that there are no exemptions in paying the 13th-month pay,” he said.

Workers and their employers could discuss how the 13th-month pay could be disbursed if their company was truly in dire straits, Laguesma added.

The Labor chief said they had called on the employers not to wait until the deadline and give the 13th-month pay earlier.

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“Even kasambahay (maids or household workers) are entitled to their 13th-month pay,” he added.

Laguesma said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had a program through which small businesses may borrow from the Small Business Corporation (SBC) to provide employees their mandatory 13th-month pay.

Based on the establishments the DOLE inspected, at least 95 percent had given their employees their 13th-month pay in 2021, the second year of the COVID-19 outbreak. Vito Barcelo

“That’s what we’re monitoring now, and we are hoping that by this time, the rate of compliance will go up,” Laguesma added.

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