Domestic Workers Act (aka Batas Kasambahay ) became effective on February 10. Are you ready for your new obligations?

Here is a run-down of some adjustments you may have to make:

Register your maid in your barangay.

Go to your barangay hall and just tell them that you seek to register your maid in compliance with the new law.

Minimum Salary

If you live in Metro Manila, you should pay your maid a minimum of ₱2,500 a month. If you live in a city or in a first class municipality, ₱2,000; If somewhere else, at least ₱1,500.

But if she already earns higher, you can't decrease her wages.

The salary is payable at least once a month directly to the maid. It must be in cash; gift cheques not allowed. You also have to give pay slips. Keep copies of them for 3 years.

SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG

Your maid is entitled to SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG. You have to shoulder all the contributions. But when your maid earns at least ₱5,000 a month, she’ll have to share.

You don’t have to register a new maid immediately. You have a month to do it.

13th-month pay, 5-day leave

13th-month pay, 5 days leave a year with pay? Yes, you have to give that too.

Toiletries, meals, rest time, day off

You have to provide for your maid's basic necessities, toiletries included.

Meals? She must be fed three times a day.

Your maid also has to rest at least 8 hours a day, and be given a full 24-hour rest day a week.

Do I need to send my maid to school now?

No. You are only advised by the law to do so; it rests on your compassion. You’ll have a valid excuse for not doing so if it compromises her work.

What about her medical needs?

Provide your maid with medical assistance if she gets sick. If her ailment did not result from work, you don’t have to.

Certificate of employment

You owe your maid an employment certificate if she leaves you.

Geez, that’s a lot. Do I have to do all these now?

No, you have until April 11 to comply. The clock is ticking.

Worried about complying? outlined the details of your new obligations in their kasambahay employment contract. All you have to do to comply with the law is stated there. No need to worry. Get a copy of the employment contract by hiring a maid from them. Call 02 405-0000 to hire a maid from now.