EDITORIAL| The 13th month pay

WITH DECEMBER just a sniff away, people let go of their usual restraint in money matters and splurge on gifts to give love ones and those who have made their lives special in the past months. For those receiving regular pay, they would lean heavily on the 13th month pay and the bonus that comes at about this time of the year.

What is the 13th month pay and who are entitled to it? The Department of Labor and Employment’s Bureau of Working Conditions have very clear answers to questions regarding the most revered 13th month pay.

According to the DOLE, a 13th month pay is a form of monetary benefit equivalent to the monthly basic compensation received by an employee, computed pro-rata according to the number of months within a year that the employee has rendered service to the employer. All establishments are required to pay its rank-and-file employees the 13th month pay.

Those who are entitled to receive the pay are all “rank-and-file employees regardless of the nature of their employment, and irrespective of the methods by which they are paid, provided they worked for at least one month during a calendar year.”

It is computed based on 1/12 of the total basic salary of an employee within a calendar year, or basic monthly salary for the whole year divided by 12 months. It is paid not later than December 24 of each year.

The employer has the option of paying half of the 13th month pay before the opening of the regular school year in June and other half on or before the 24th of December every year.

However, the law states that only rank-and-file employees are entitled to the pay. It cites the  Labor Code, as amended, “distinguishes a rank-and-file employee from a managerial employee.  A managerial employee is one who is vested with powers or prerogatives to lay down and execute management policies and/or to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, discharge, assign, or discipline employees, or to effectively recommend such managerial actions.”

But the spirit of the season is not only contingent on how much we can spend. Beyond the tinsel and glitter of commercialism, this is the time for us to reflect on the infant who was born in swaddling clothes with nothing more than his parents on a cold winter night.

Posted in Opinion