When hiring a maid from any maid agency in Manila or any agency for that matter, what is your most important consideration? Is it the monthly salary of the maid or the background check? Perhaps, the fast deployment because you are in a hurry to finding a maid to take care of the household chores? Regardless of your goals in hiring a household helper, there is always one aspect that a would-be employer tends to overlook. And, that's the legal ramifications of hiring a staffer.
Here's what you must be doing.
1) Learn the Kasambahay Law
Republic Act No. 10361 is also known as the Domestic Workers Act or the Batas Kasambahay. The Act outlines the processes from hiring down to issuing a certificate of employment (COE) to the maids. It acts as a guide for inexperienced or less-informed employers about what they can and cannot do when hiring a house helper. The provisions are very basic so you'd easily understand what can get you penalized as an employer. It would be better to keep a copy of the Act as a reference.
2) Learn the inclusions of a contract
An employment contract is required. But, it should be in a language that both parties (you and the maid) can understand. Good thing, the Act includes forms that you can use such as the contract (Kontrata sa Paglilingkod sa Tahanan), the pay slip and the COE. The contract includes information about the agreeing parties and rules and conditions. It should be signed by the employer, maid, and witnesses.
3) Learn your obligations as an employer
Not all employers are aware of this, but they have reportorial duties under the Batas Kasambahay. The barangay where the residence of the employer is located maintains a Registry of Domestic Workers. Once you hire a maid, you should go to your barangay hall and register your staffers. This is to ensure that your maids are subject to good working conditions and for identification purposes. In this way also, the interest of the maids will be protected.
4) Know whether you are hiring an eligible person
Hiring underage maids is rampant in the Philippines especially in the outskirts. This is actually punishable by law (as child abuse) even more after the RA 10361 was enacted and implemented. Thus, when you are planning to hire a maid, educate yourself about who you should hire as stipulated in the Act. For instance, you should never hire a helper who is 15 years and below. You may only hire maids who are between 15 and 17 years old and 18 years old and older.
5) Know your rights as an employer
Basically, the Act outlines your duties, but you also have rights. This is true whether you are hiring directly or through a maid agency in Manila. For the latter, the agency is responsible for providing you a pre-employment orientation briefing. In here, you will learn about your rights and responsibilities so you may also protect your interest as the employer. As such, the agency should be the one to guide you throughout the entire process. With this, it is critical to choose the right agency to obtain your maid from.
Importantly, hiring a maid also have legal implications. It would be better to consider this aspect even before you start scouting for the agency or maid. Whether you are a first-time employer or not, the law can protect you, your chosen agency, and the maid(s) you've hired. Remember, it's always better to be safe than sorry. After all, the laws in the Philippines governing hiring a maid are pretty basic and straightforward.