More on job contracting PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 June 2018 13:32

LOOKING IN

BY ROD BALBON

My last column has elicited numerous questions from readers who sought further explanation regarding job contracting and other related matters in accordance with law and established jurisprudence.

Whose employees are those placed by a job contractor in a business establishment? If the person engaged is a legitimate job contractor, there is no employer-employee relationship existing between the employees of the job contractor and the principal. This can be illustrated for example when ACE Placement, a legitimate job contractor, placed Juan at KCC to work as Sales Boy. He is deemed an employee of ACE Placement. What if ACE Placement fails to pay Juan’s wages and other labor standard benefits? Then KCC, the PRINCIPAL and being the INDIRECT EMPLOYER shall be jointly and severally liable with ACE Placement for the payment thereof. It is here that the law creates an employer-employee relationship for that limited purpose to ensure that the employees are paid their wages and other labor standard benefits. If ACE Placement is an illegal “labor only” contractor, it shall be considered merely as an agent of the PRINCIPAL employer, KCC, who shall be responsible to the workers in the same manner and extent as if the latter were directly employed by it. In this situation KCC is deemed the employer of the workers.

Are the employees, hired by the contractor or by the Principal employer, considered regular workers? The first paragraph of Article 280 of the Labor Code answers this question, which explicitly provides that “REGARDLESS of any oral argument to the contrary, an employee is deemed REGULAR when he is engaged to perform functions which are usually necessary and desirable in the conduct of business or trade of his employer. The test here is the reasonable connection between the activity performed by the employee in relation to the usual trade or business of the employer. That connection can be determined by considering the nature of the work performed and its relation to the scheme of the particular business or trade in its entirety.

Thus, on the very first day of the worker’s employment, he is considered a REGULAR EMPLOYEE. The exception here is: although a worker performs functions that are usually necessary and desirable in the usual conduct of business and trade of his employer but his employment has been FIXED for a specific project or undertaking, the completion or termination of which has been determined at the time of the engagement of the worker. They are considered as PROJECT employees; or where the work or service to be performed is SEASONAL in nature and the employment is for the duration of the season. They are deemed as SEASONAL workers. Examples of these are the construction workers who are engaged to work for a specific project and rice harvesters engaged for the duration of the season. The status of their employment can never be considered REGULAR.

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The Manila Times regional news banners that “Zamboanga mayor vows justice for siege victims” after the Pasig Regional Trial Court ordered the release of 96 out of 200 members of the MNLF from jail who participated in the attack.

Except by pronouncing that she is saddened by their release, nothing was said as to what she will do and how she will seek justice for the victims of the siege.

Informed sources revealed that the good mayor was talking to MNLF Chair Misuari weeks before the siege. We don’t know what transpired during their talks or negotiations. Thereafter, hundreds of loyal followers of Misuari from Basilan and Sulu provinces arrived by boats in Zamboanga City that attacked several barangays, sparking a house-to-house fighting where the rebels took dozens of innocent civilians as hostage and used them as shields against the police and military forces.

If then Mayor Duterte of Davao City and Mayor Furigay of Lamitan were able to mollify and calm down Misuari of his wicked intention and to march along their city streets armless, why did Mayor Beng Salazar fail?