Termination blog series 4 of 4 (Health Reasons)
articles of entire series is available here
This is the concluding article to this series and as promised, our discussion will focus on Art.
284 *299 or termination due to health reasons.
Losing one’s job for health reasons falls under authorized causes as stated on the Philippine Labor Code:
284*299. Disease as a ground for termination. An employer may terminate the services of an employee who has been found to be suffering from any disease and whose continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his health as well as to the health of his co-employees: Provided, That he is paid separation pay equivalent to at least one (1) month salary or to one-half (1/2) month salary for every year of service, whichever is greater, a fraction of at least six (6) months being considered as one (1) whole year.
Rules and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code:
SECTION 8. Disease as a ground for dismissal. — Where the employee suffers from a disease and his continued employment is prohibited by law or prejudicial to his health or to the health of his co-employees, the employer shall not terminate his employment unless there is certification by competent public health authority that the disease is of such nature of at such a stage that it cannot be cured within a period of six (6) months even with proper medical treatment. If the disease or ailment can be cured within the period, the employee shall not terminate the employee but shall ask the employee to take a leave of absence. The employer shall reinstate such employee to his former position immediately upon the restoration of his normal health
A regular reader left a comment in my previous post, requesting if possible, to enumerate the diseases that can be used as a ground for termination. In my research, however, it was not spelled out. Each case is treated based on clinical correlation, i.e. one case of cancer may be a ground for dismissal while another is not. The law, instead, provided these parameters:
- The job will only aggravate the health condition of the concerned employee.
- His sickness is contagious and may put the health of other workers at risk.
- The sickness will not be cured in six months’ time.
- It must be certified by a public health authority (aside from the company doctor).
If an employee’s case does not fall on the above, an employer must allow the employee to take a leave for not more than six months and take him back as soon as s/he recovers.
From my experience, I’ve witnessed some business owners take a more generous and benevolent stance, more than what due process requires– extending financial assistance on top of the company benefits rather than terminating employees for health reasons.
However, this should not be misconstrued as default practice because employers are not prohibited from exercising their prerogative, per Art.
284 *299 or terminating an employee for health reasons.
However, business owners should comply with the prescribed minimum separation pay of at least equivalent to one month salary, or 1/2 month salary for every year of service on which 6 months and more shall be counted as one full year. The only exception is if collective bargaining agreement is present.
* renumbered articles of the labor code (download your copy)