What to Look Forward to in the Freelance Workers Protection Act
by Mac Duguiang Jr. · April 7, 2021
The “Freelance Workers Protection Act,” a bill that seeks the protection of freelancers, has been approved on the third and final reading in the House of Representatives. If you are a freelance worker, these are the things that you should look forward to when the bill passes into law:
- You need a written contract.
A detailed written contract shall be entered into before services are rendered. This can show both the client’s and the freelancer’s obligations, making the enforcement of the freelancer’s rights easier when problems occur.
- You are entitled to a night shift differential.
A freelancer who works on field assignments or who is required to be at the workplace is entitled to a night shift differential equivalent to not less than 10 percent of one’s regular compensation for each hour of work performed between 10 PM and 6 AM. If you are paid Php 200 per hour on your regular work schedule, you can get paid as much as Php 220 per hour for hours worked at your workplace past 10 PM.
- You are entitled to hazard pay.
A freelancer who is deployed in areas dangerous to safety or health is entitled to hazard pay equivalent to at least 25 percent of the total payment for the period of such deployment. If you are paid Php 1,000 daily in a regular work setting, you can get paid as much as Php 1,250 if you are assigned to work in an area dangerous to your safety or health.
- Your pay is protected.
An employer cannot pay the freelancer later than 15 days after the compensation payment date in the contract or after the service has been performed in case there is no written contract. An employer cannot also require a freelancer to accept payment less than that specified in the contract.
- You are given better recognition by the BIR.
Every BIR Revenue District Office will have a special assistance desk or lane for freelancers. A freelancer must be registered as self-employed with the BIR, incorporated under the Securities and Exchange Commission, or registered as a sole proprietorship under the Department of Trade and Industry.
- Violation of your rights can be penalized.
A civil penalty of not less than Php 50,000 but not more than Php 500,000 and a corresponding interest rate of 6 percent per annum for the continuing violation may be ordered in case of violation of rights of freelancers. Complaints can be filed with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through the Undersecretary for Workers with Special Concerns.
- Awareness on your rights will be raised.
The DOLE, DTI, BIR, local government units, and other relevant government agencies will hold information and education campaigns on the welfare and rights of freelancers, BIR registration process, mode of filing complaints when their rights are violated, and other relevant topics.
About the Author
Mac is a sophomore law student at the University of the Philippines College of Law. He took up BS Business Administration at University of the Philippines DIiliman and graduated cum laude. Currently, he is the Chief Growth Officer and a co-founder of ALex Legal Solutions. Aside from his role, he is also in charge of the marketing direction and the creation of digital illustrations for ALex.
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